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What's Up With Your Defintion Of "American"?  
User currently offlineAA7295 From Australia, joined Aug 2007, 622 posts, RR: 0
Posted (2 years 2 months 12 hours ago) and read 3181 times:

I've discovered that people from continental Europe and South America tend to refer to Americans as US-Americans?

What's up with that? History, popular culture and the media has defined the word "American" and "Americans" to be those individuals who come from the United States of America, and/or live in the United States of America.

Never does it refer to someone from South America. I mean, if a Columbian said to me, "I'm American", but they didn't possess a US passport or reside in America, I would really question their intelligence.

What is your take on the word?

[Edited 2012-08-21 19:35:09]

61 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlinelewis From Greece, joined Jul 1999, 3654 posts, RR: 5
Reply 1, posted (2 years 2 months 12 hours ago) and read 3174 times:

Based on the word itself, every person from the Americas is an American. You are right that the word has become synonymous with US citizens but that is just due to its everyday use. Grammatically, the Colombian you mentioned would be right.

I noticed the same thing with the word "Asian" and how it is perceived in different regions of the world. In the UK, "Asian" could mean Indian, Pakistani, Chinese, Japanese etc. "Asian" in the US strictly means a person from the Far East.


User currently offlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15779 posts, RR: 27
Reply 2, posted (2 years 2 months 11 hours ago) and read 3157 times:

Quoting AA7295 (Thread starter):
What is your take on the word?

American pertains to the USA. Canadians are North Americans, but not American. Colombians are South Americans, but not Americans.

Quoting lewis (Reply 1):
In the UK, "Asian" could mean Indian, Pakistani, Chinese, Japanese etc. "Asian" in the US strictly means a person from the Far East.

Sometimes I'll notice an Indian referred to as Asian, but for the most part people from Asia seem to be grouped into Arabs or Middle Easterners, Indians, and Asians.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlinescrubbsywg From Canada, joined Mar 2007, 1495 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (2 years 2 months 11 hours ago) and read 3151 times:

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 2):
American pertains to the USA. Canadians are North Americans, but not American. Colombians are South Americans, but not Americans.

According to dictionaries, American does not only specifically refer to the USA.


User currently offlineMortyman From Norway, joined Aug 2006, 3985 posts, RR: 1
Reply 4, posted (2 years 2 months 11 hours ago) and read 3141 times:

There is something that is referred to as Americas, wich consist of North America ( including USA and Canada ), Central America and South America.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Americas#America_or_Americas

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_america

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_America

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Central_America

I would say that " US Americans" are from the USA in North America, while Brazilians, Colombians etc. are from South America and Mexicans, Costa Ricans etc are from Central America.

Personally I would refer to someone coming from the USA as coming from the USA but also American living in North America, but those who come from Brazil for instance as Brasilians coming from Brazil in South America.

The Colombian that you refer to is a Colombian but also a South American


Might aswell throw in a link for the Latin Americans and Indigenous Americans:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Latin_americans

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indigenous_peoples_of_the_Americas

[Edited 2012-08-21 19:33:16]

[Edited 2012-08-21 19:34:53]

User currently offlineAeri28 From United States of America, joined Dec 2000, 709 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (2 years 2 months 11 hours ago) and read 3101 times:

I'm on a few UK and French website/forums. Never ever heard that term. US Americans. LOL

I would not doubt some may refer to that as a sort of defiance and I think there are some who would "like" that to be so, sort of taking back that word, but it aint gonna happen. For the most part, when you hear the word "America' and "American", I bet you know exactly who is the topic, regardless if the term 'can' include chileans, argentines, boliivians etc.

United States of America = America and Americans. Not US America or US Americans or even USians. I've heard that one thrown around.

Just my (and millions of others) opinion.


User currently offlineBraniff747SP From United States of America, joined Oct 2008, 2997 posts, RR: 1
Reply 6, posted (2 years 2 months 10 hours ago) and read 3092 times:

It's merely the way language is used. Technically, the Colombian would be right--but no one would use it in that sense. It's quite interesting: in Spain, many people refer to Americans as 'norteamericanos' which means 'North American". We would use 'North American' to refer to an American, a Canadian, or a Mexican. However, they add an unneeded 'north' to the word when talking about someone from the US. I've always found it interesting.


The 747 will always be the TRUE queen of the skies!
User currently offlinevikkyvik From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 10096 posts, RR: 26
Reply 7, posted (2 years 2 months 10 hours ago) and read 3082 times:
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Quoting AA7295 (Thread starter):
History, popular culture and the media has defined the word "American" and "Americans" to be those individuals who come from the United States of America, and/or live in the United States of America.

Um, clearly not, if:

Quoting AA7295 (Thread starter):
people from continental Europe and South America tend to refer to Americans as US-Americans


...



"Two and a Half Men" was filmed in front of a live ostrich.
User currently offlineDocLightning From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 19927 posts, RR: 59
Reply 8, posted (2 years 2 months 10 hours ago) and read 3070 times:

Quoting AA7295 (Thread starter):

I've discovered that people from continental Europe and South America tend to refer to Americans as US-Americans?

There's North America, South America, and the United States of America. For some reason, while I agree that "American" without a qualifier ("North, South, Latin, etc.) would suggest USA, some people feel a need to add a preface.

HOWEVER, in Spanish, "Americano" is more commonly shorthand for SOUTH Americans (more linguistic and cultural commonality). But Americans are called "Norteamericano" (North-American) or "Estadounidiense" (essentially: "United Statesian"). When I speak about myself in Spanish, I call myself "Estadounidiense." It also helps clarify because when speaking Spanish, my accent places me as a Spaniard (I was raised speaking it), which can confuse Spanish-speakers.

Quoting lewis (Reply 1):
Based on the word itself, every person from the Americas is an American.

I agree. Except there is only one country in the world with the name "America" in its common name. No other country in the world has the name "America" in its common name. Every non-American from the Americas can call himself "Canadian" or "Ecuadorian" or whatever. As an American, I find it inconvenient to have to refer to myself as anything other than "American" when speaking English.

Furthermore, when speaking English, it's very obvious that I'm either American or Canadian. No Canadian would ever call himself "American." So when I say "American," I expect that it's understood what I mean.


User currently offlineArrow From Canada, joined Jun 2002, 2676 posts, RR: 2
Reply 9, posted (2 years 2 months 8 hours ago) and read 3043 times:

Now that we've thoroughly fleshed out what an American is, let's have a discussion around what a "US Person" is. Should be entertaining once a little data has been unearthed.


Never let the facts get in the way of a good story.
User currently offlineMortyman From Norway, joined Aug 2006, 3985 posts, RR: 1
Reply 10, posted (2 years 2 months 8 hours ago) and read 3043 times:

Canadians can also be referred to as to be Americans, in the sence that Canada is part of North America.

I also beleave that in a US passport it says that the bearer is not from America, but from United States of America and that the bearer is not an american citizen, but a US citizen or a citizen of United States of America

[Edited 2012-08-21 22:09:41]

User currently offlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15779 posts, RR: 27
Reply 11, posted (2 years 2 months 8 hours ago) and read 3036 times:

Quoting Arrow (Reply 9):
Now that we've thoroughly fleshed out what an American is, let's have a discussion around what a "US Person" is. Should be entertaining once a little data has been unearthed.

I have no idea other than that I am one and that seems to be all anyone cares about.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlineMortyman From Norway, joined Aug 2006, 3985 posts, RR: 1
Reply 12, posted (2 years 2 months 8 hours ago) and read 3032 times:

Quoting Arrow (Reply 9):
Now that we've thoroughly fleshed out what an American is, let's have a discussion around what a "US Person" is. Should be entertaining once a little data has been unearthed.

US person is someone that is a citizen of United States of America and not for instance Colombia.


User currently offlinefr8mech From United States of America, joined Sep 2005, 5489 posts, RR: 14
Reply 13, posted (2 years 2 months 8 hours ago) and read 3026 times:

Quoting Mortyman (Reply 10):
Canadians can also be referred to as to be Americans, in the sence that Canada is part of North America.


They can be...but are they?

I'm thinking that's the point.

I have a cousin in Greece that used to refer to me as his US-American cousin. As in: "This is my cousin, Fr8Mech, he is US-American". To which I would say, "no, I'm Greek-American".

For whatever reason, when someone is referred to as an American, he is understood to be from (or living in) the United States.

And, to open a slightly different can of worms, I really don't consider myself Greek-American...I'm an American of Greek descent...even though I was born in Greece. Spent the vast majority of my life here.



When seconds count...the police are minutes away.
User currently offlineDocLightning From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 19927 posts, RR: 59
Reply 14, posted (2 years 2 months 8 hours ago) and read 3021 times:

Quoting Arrow (Reply 9):
Now that we've thoroughly fleshed out what an American is, let's have a discussion around what a "US Person" is. Should be entertaining once a little data has been unearthed.

Someone from the U.S., typically either a legal resident alien or citizen.


User currently offlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15779 posts, RR: 27
Reply 15, posted (2 years 2 months 8 hours ago) and read 3011 times:

Quoting fr8mech (Reply 13):
I really don't consider myself Greek-American...I'm an American of Greek descent...even though I was born in Greece. Spent the vast majority of my life here.

What's funny is when just any black person is referred to as "African American." LeBron James is African American. Usain Bolt is not African American.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlineQuokkas From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (2 years 2 months 7 hours ago) and read 3002 times:

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 15):
What's funny is when just any black person is referred to as "African American."

Yet there are those who insist that a certain person is a Kenyan Muslim.      


User currently offlineJJJ From Spain, joined May 2006, 1861 posts, RR: 1
Reply 17, posted (2 years 2 months 7 hours ago) and read 2999 times:

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 8):
HOWEVER, in Spanish, "Americano" is more commonly shorthand for SOUTH Americans (more linguistic and cultural commonality). But Americans are called "Norteamericano" (North-American) or "Estadounidiense" (essentially: "United Statesian"). When I speak about myself in Spanish, I call myself "Estadounidiense."

That's pretty much it.

To us, America is the whole continent, which in turn is composed of North, Central and South America as their subcontinents. The IOC seems to agree with us, as America has a single ring as it seems the "America" and "American" to refer exclusively to the US is a post-WW2 phenomenon.

An Argentinian, Brazilian, Jamaican or Canadian are equally American to us, and considering they outnumber "Americans" in your continent I'd say they have a good point.


User currently offlineAA7295 From Australia, joined Aug 2007, 622 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (2 years 2 months 6 hours ago) and read 2975 times:

Quoting JJJ (Reply 17):

An Argentinian, Brazilian, Jamaican or Canadian are equally American to us, and considering they outnumber "Americans" in your continent I'd say they have a good point.

Yeah but I'm sure most of Asia, India, Australia, New Zealand refer to US Citzens/residents as Americans, Spanish-speaking countries are outnumbered.

Plain and simple... American or Americans refer to citizens of the United States of America.


User currently offlineAeri28 From United States of America, joined Dec 2000, 709 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (2 years 2 months 6 hours ago) and read 2965 times:

I think they were talking about being Chileans here.. (not that there's anything wrong with being from Chile!)

"Tu vuò fà l'Americano"
by Renato Carosone and Nicola Salerno

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aDS-eeZfxn0


Seriously, I have heard that the word "Americano" (in south america etc) can also refer also to themselves (it was also in the Spanish language film "Motorcycle Diaries),, and that the Spanish may refer to us as Norteamericanos or however it was expressed, but I would bet if the average person was in a country and said either "I am American" , "Je suis Americain" "Yo soy Americano", "Ich bin Amerikaner" or 'America" "Amerique" Amerika", more than likely, unless being pedantic, you would know pretty much where the person was coming from. Irregardless of Dictionary meaning or historical text. I mean, would an Ecuadorian go to London and say "I'm an American from America. Take me to the American Embassy" where Assange is located.?

I think, much to somes chagrin, the US has taken this as their own, or it has, for a large part, become synonymous with the US, and yes, technically the other explanations ring true, but if I walked into a bar in Algiers , chances are I'd be asked if I was American.

This defination gives both choices lol.

amerikan c
1. inhabitant of the Americas
2.. A person born in, or a citizen or inhabitant of United States of America


User currently offlineJJJ From Spain, joined May 2006, 1861 posts, RR: 1
Reply 20, posted (2 years 2 months 5 hours ago) and read 2957 times:

Quoting AA7295 (Reply 18):
Yeah but I'm sure most of Asia, India, Australia, New Zealand refer to US Citzens/residents as Americans, Spanish-speaking countries are outnumbered.

Not for Asians, they're mostly in the 5+1 continent camp (5 inhabited continents plus Antarctica), so do Greeks and other European countries.

For the Anglosphere, sure.


User currently offlinevikkyvik From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 10096 posts, RR: 26
Reply 21, posted (2 years 2 months 5 hours ago) and read 2955 times:
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Quoting AA7295 (Reply 18):
Plain and simple... American or Americans refer to citizens of the United States of America.

Again, clearly it doesn't, given this:

Quoting AA7295 (Thread starter):
people from continental Europe and South America tend to refer to Americans as US-Americans

Not sure why you have an issue with a different usage of the term. The continent is called North America. Referring to its residents as Americans makes perfect sense, even if you or I don't use the term that way.



"Two and a Half Men" was filmed in front of a live ostrich.
User currently offlineJJJ From Spain, joined May 2006, 1861 posts, RR: 1
Reply 22, posted (2 years 2 months 5 hours ago) and read 2940 times:

Quoting Aeri28 (Reply 19):
"Yo soy Americano"

If you said that (unless the accent was obviously Anglo) the reply would be, "Sure, we knew that already from your accent, but which country in America?"


User currently offlinedc9northwest From Switzerland, joined Feb 2007, 2298 posts, RR: 7
Reply 23, posted (2 years 2 months 5 hours ago) and read 2938 times:

In Romania, "american" is used to refer to someone from the USA or as an adjective referring to something made in the US. For example, we refer to people from South America as a whole as "sud-american".

User currently offlineRara From Germany, joined Jan 2007, 2111 posts, RR: 2
Reply 24, posted (2 years 2 months 4 hours ago) and read 2907 times:

In German "amerikanisch" most often refers to the United States, but technically it could refer to anything of the American continent, so we like to add the qualifier "US-amerikanisch" just to make clear what we're talking about. If we're talking about people, it seems a bit redundant, but in other cases it makes sense. "American west coast" for instance could refer to the whole Western stretch of the continent, while "US-American west coast" makes it clearer, at least in German.

Interestingly, if I were to speak of a "Nordamerikaner", i.e. north American, it would be implicit that I want to include Canadians and Mexicans as well, not only US citizens.



Samson was a biblical tough guy, but his dad Samsonite was even more of a hard case.
25 Post contains images ozglobal : You're post just shows how completely you inhabit the angloshpere. This is, I hope you recognize, a minority of the planet. Even if most English spea
26 Asturias : Eh you're about as spanish as spotted dick. Clearly you need to change your flag. To us spanish, «americanos» usually means people from the US, on
27 Post contains images AM744 : This is the way to go. I'm fine with the use of 'American' in the Anglosphere. In Spanish it can get confusing and most importantly it sort of questi
28 Post contains images Ken777 : Look at our alternatives. United Statesers? Oddly enough a lot of people use a tag related to the state they live in, like Texan. So we are down to be
29 bogota : I also understand that for a large part of the world American means from the United States of America, but in Latin America and especially when speaki
30 Post contains links Aesma : Yep, you need to come up with a real name for your country ! In French États-Uniens is occasionally used, often when you're about to say something b
31 Asturias : I think it's fine to call people from the US 'American' in english, and in other languages can be different (as the case may be) Different languages,
32 Post contains images WrenchBender : Up here we just call them "Yanks" or "Y'alls" depending on which side of the Mason-Dixie line they come from..... WrenchBender
33 Post contains images dc9northwest : Statesman could work but it already has a different meaning.
34 Post contains links and images Longhornmaniac : US Americans "Americans" refer to people from the USA. I don't care how it's defined in the dictionary, I have thoughts. You wouldn't ever hear a born
35 bogota : If that works for you is fine, just don´t ask others who do not agree to call you as such. Around this side of the world you are either a US America
36 Ken777 : We're OK on the name of the country, it's us folks who live here that are the problem. That probably works as well as anything we can come up with. A
37 Maverick623 : Bingo. "American" has become the default adjective when describing a US national, as no other suitable word in English was used. It's cool to discuss
38 Post contains images sccutler : Common sense, thy name is Lightning. My best friend calls himself an "American" (or, equally frequently, a "Texan," which we all know is the highest
39 Post contains images Longhornmaniac : I've been to 5 South American countries and have never heard the term "US American" (nor anywhere else). Of course I've heard "estadounidense" becaus
40 JJJ : That's where I was born, always lived and can trace as far back. Which one would you suggest I use? Now working in a company (in ol'Castile) which is
41 JJJ : Btw: here's what the RAE has to say about the subject: americano, na. 1. adj. Natural de América. U. t. c. s. 2. adj. Perteneciente o relativo a est
42 Post contains images David L : That's the root of it. We would have the same problem if we didn't also call our country (inaccurately) Great Britain or Britain -> British. I can
43 Post contains images SmittyOne : Charlize Theron is an African American...LOL. I really dislike that term, for being so damned imprecise. The only one of those "PC" labels that makes
44 bogota : I don´t refer to myself as American because my nation is Colombian, but that does not mean either that I am not American. Just like people from Fran
45 Asturias : Sure, of course you are.. Thanks, we can actually look up the dictionary, but in Castilla y León, where I am from, americanos is usually for people
46 SmittyOne : Well said! Pretty simple really. LOL this is just wrong.
47 JJJ : Thankfully you're not the one handing passports.
48 Ken777 : I do too - too many syllables. I have a friend Down Under who could be called African Australian. What color do you think he is? In terms of calling
49 PPVRA : I have no problem calling US citizens Americans while also knowing I am an American - South American. Calling US citizens "North Americans" is weird,
50 PPVRA : So if a Swiss shows up in an EU country and is greeted with "welcome to Europe!" how is he gonna react?
51 SmittyOne : What about a Frenchman of the negroid race who moves to the US. Is he an African American? That makes no sense. Likewise, what the hell happens if an
52 AA7295 : Your argument is invalid. Switzerland is part of the continent of Europe. It is not part of the European Union. The European Union does not define "E
53 bogota : You are absolutely right, just like The United States of America does not define America.
54 AA7295 : So you're saying if a Colombian boards a flight from Bogota to Washington DC, and the CBP officer says "Welcome to America", that person is going to
55 Longhornmaniac : Winner, winner, chicken dinner. Cheers, Cameron
56 TransIsland : Huh? Colombia is part of the Americas. It is not part of the United States of America. The United States of America does not define "America." As som
57 Post contains images Aeri28 : I don't see anybody getting upset here, I tried looking at the posts above, seems calm, just people with adamant positions. I think, at times, when Am
58 Post contains links fr8mech : The following sums up my feelings: "Any man who carries a hyphen about with him carries a dagger that he is ready to plunge into the vitals of this R
59 SmittyOne : Sure, my point is that I'm not going to apply the term "African-American" to a person simply because they are of a particular race. I don't know wher
60 MD11Engineer : What about our fellow A.netter SW733? He is of the caucasian race, has been born and grown up in Namibia, which defintely is in Africa, of American p
61 bogota : No, he/she is just going to think " These people still think they own America." Which is what we all think. Does it affect us, no it is part of life,
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