Florida - Languages



Spanish and English settlers found what is now Florida inhabited by Indians recently separated from the Muskogean Creeks, who, with the addition of escaped black slaves and remnants of the Apalachee Indians of the panhandle, later became known as the Seminole Indians. Although the bulk of the Seminole were removed to Indian Territory in the 1840s, enough remained to provide the basis of the present population. Florida has such Indian place-names as Okeechobee, Apalachicola, Kissimmee, Sarasota, Pensacola, and Hialeah.

The rapid population change that has occurred in Florida since World War II makes accurate statements about the language difficult. Massive migration from the North Central and North Atlantic areas, including a large number of speakers of Yiddish, has materially affected the previously rather uniform Southern speech of much of the state. Borrowing from the Spanish of the expanding number of Cubans and Puerto Ricans in the Miami area has had a further effect.

Representative words in the Southern speech of most native-born Floridians are light bread (white bread), pallet (temporary bed on the floor), fairing off (clearing up), serenade (shivaree),

Florida Counties, County Seats, and County Areas and Populations
Florida Counties, County Seats, and County Areas and Populations

Florida Counties, County Seats, and County Areas and Populations

COUNTY COUNTY SEAT LAND AREA (SQ MI) POPULATION (2002 EST.) COUNTY COUNTY SEAT LAND AREA (SQ MI) POPULATION (2002 EST.)
Alachua Gainesville 901 222,254 Lake Tavares 954 233,835
Baker MacClenny 585 22,793 Lee Ft. Myers 803 475,639
Bay Panama City 758 151,901 Leon Tallahassee 676 243,995
Bradford Starke 293 26,297 Levy Bronson 1,100 35,953
Brevard Titusville 995 495,576 Liberty Bristol 837 6,902
Broward Ft. Lauderdale 1,211 1,709,118 Madison Madison 710 18,309
Calhoun Blountstown 568 12,567 Manatee Bradenton 747 280,511
Charlotte Punta Gorda 690 148,678 Marion Ocala 1,610 272,553
Citrus Inverness 629 123,685 Martin Stuart 555 132,218
Clay Green Cove Springs 592 152,093 Monroe Key West 1,034 79,330
Collier East Naples 1,994 276,691 Nassau Fernandina Beach 649 60,558
Columbia Lake City 796 58,028 Okaloosa Crestview 936 175,708
Dade Miami 1,955 2,332,599 Okeechobee Okeechobee 770 36,906
De Soto Arcadia 636 32,819 Orange Orlando 910 946,484
Dixie Cross City 701 14,063 Osceola Kissimmee 1,350 190,187
Duval Jacksonville 776 806,120 Palm Beach West Palm Beach 1,993 1,190,390
Escambia Pensacola 660 297,272 Pasco Dade City 738 371,245
Flagler Bunnell 491 57,377 Pinellas Clearwater 738 371,245
Franklin Apalachicola 545 10,069 Polk Bartow 1,823 498,721
Gadsden Quincy 518 45,279 Putnam Palatka 733 71,016
Gilchrist Trenton 354 14,720 St. Johns St. Augustine 617 136,038
Glades Moore Haven 763 10,786 St. Lucie Ft. Pierce 581 205,420
Gulf Port St. Joe 559 14,789 Santa Rosa Milton 1,024 127,212
Hamilton Jasper 517 13,710 Sarasota Sarasota 573 339,625
Hardee Wauchula 637 27,333 Seminole Sanford 298 381,686
Hendry La Belle 1,163 36,891 Sumter Bushnell 561 57,517
Hernando Brooksville 1.163 138,470 Suwannee Live Oak 690 36,121
Highlands Sebring 1,029 89,952 Taylor Perry 1,058 19,339
Hillsborough Tampa 1,053 1,053,864 Union Lake Butler 246 13,877
Holmes Bonifay 488 18,628 Volusia DeLand 1,113 459,435
Indian River Vero Beach 497 118,007 Wakulla Crawfordville 601 24,900
Jackson Marianna 942 46,408 Walton De Funiak Springs 1,066 43,843
Jefferson Monticello 609 13,695 Washington Chipley 590 21,419
Lafayette Mayo 545 7,009     —————— ——————
          TOTALS 54,153 16,713,149

tote (carry), snap beans (green beans); mosquito hawk (dragonfly), crocus sack (burlap bag), pullybone (wishbone), and comforter (tied and filled bedcover), especially in south Florida. Largely limited to the northern half of the state are pinder (peanut), croker sack instead of crocus sack, fire dogs (andirons); also, in the Tampa Bay area, comfort (tied and filled bedcover), and, in the panhandle, whirlygig (merry-go-round). Some north-Florida terms are clearly imported from Georgia: mutton corn (green corn), light-wood (kindling), and co-wench! (a call to cows).

In 2000, 11,569,739 Floridians—76.9% of the resident population five years old and older—spoke only English at home, down from 82.7% in 1990.

The following table gives selected statistics from the 2000 census for language spoken at home by persons five years old and over. The category "Other Indo-European languages" includes Albanian, Gaelic, Lithuanian, and Rumanian.

Florida

LANGUAGE NUMBER PERCENT
Population 5 years and over 15,043,603 100.0
Speak only English 11,569,739 76.9
Speak a language other than English 3,473,864 23.1
Speak a language other than English 3,473,864 23.1
Spanish or Spanish Creole 2,476,528 16.5
French Creole 208,487 1.4
French (incl. Patois, Cajun) 129,118 0.9
German 89,656 0.6
Italian 67,257 0.4
Portuguese or Portuguese Creole 55,014 0.4
Tagalog 38,442 0.3
Chinese 35,071 0.2
Arabic 32,418 0.2
Vietnamese 30,962 0.2
Polish 24,850 0.2
Greek 23,041 0.2
Russian 19,729 0.1
Other Indo-European languages 18,473 0.1
Yiddish 18,225 0.1
Korean 16,702 0.1
Hebrew 15,360 0.1


Jump to a detailed profile or search
site with Google Custom Search


All US cities
Florida bigger cities, Florida smaller cities, Florida small cities
Florida detailed state guide