HomeQ&AAre people from the United States of America "Americans"?

Are people from the United States of America "Americans"?


I have seen sometimes on this website that people from other places in North and South America do not like the idea of people from the United States of America being referred to as "Americans".

Is this really true?

Here in the Estados Unidos de Mexico - where people refer to themselves as "Mexicans", people from the United States are referred to as "Norteamericanos".

Why is it OK to refer to people from the United States of Mexico as Mexicans and not OK to refer to people from the United States of America as Americans?

updated ENE 24, 2014
posted by petersenkid2
Funny - on my Brazilian Visa, it lists my nationality as NORTE-AMERICANO, while on my Mexican visa, it lists my nationality as USA and on my US Passport, it lists my nationality as United States of America. - petersenkid2, JUL 14, 2010
Please do not fail to read Izanoni1's answer. Brilliant and spectacular. - petersenkid2, JUL 14, 2010
I've never heard of United States of Mexico on the news, just Mexico. I may understand why others in the Latin Countries dislike this fact but Americans is the only widely accepted English term to refer to US Americans. It's inevitable. pun intended - epicfail, JUL 15, 2010
Estados Unidos Mexicanos. That's the name of the country. - petersenkid2, JUL 15, 2010
Every body living here says Mexico. - epicfail, JUL 16, 2010
Where is "here"? - petersenkid2, JUL 16, 2010
Texas - epicfail, JUL 16, 2010
Cool. Thanks for sharing that. - petersenkid2, JUL 16, 2010

30 Answers


I think that sometimes people can be completely insensitive to the feelings of other and other times people make problems out of thin air. To me, this is one of the latter cases. Trying to call people from the USA "Staters" or "United Staters" takes political correctness to an absurd extreme.

I understand that the Americas are one contiguous land mass (if you make allowances for the Panama canal), but so are Europe and Asia, and if you make the same allowances for the Suez Canal that are made for the Panama Canal then in reality Europe, Asia and Africa could all be considered a single continent. Last time I checked, however, there were still seven continents.

On the other hand, the discussion of continents is somewhat irrelevant, from what I can tell, when you consider that the word "nationality" refers to the names with which nations use to describe their own citizens and not to the names by which entire continents are classified. The idea of a nation, is a political distinction, and therefore an artificial one. Moreover, ideas like United States; Confederation; Republic are political ideas based on organization and do not generally refer to the name of the country itself. As petersenkid has already noted there is more than one United States on the North American continent.

It might help to remember that every sovereign nation on the contiguous American continent (North and South America) was at one time part of a colonial system of some European power. At the time that America broke away from its colonial roots to form its own sovereign nation, the fact of the matter is that there were no other United States in America. The history of this name dates back to the second continental congress and the Declaration of Independence (in 1776 and at least 30 years before any other nation of the Western Hemisphere would gain independence) in which the following declaration was made to the world:

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved;

Still, it is an odd twist of language (and possibly one which lacks precidence) to call a nations citizenry by the political organization that the nation identifies with rather than by the name that it chooses for itself. It would be as if instead of calling Chileans or Colombians by this name they were instead to be identified (in terms of nation of origin) simply as "republicans" based on the fact that the official names of these countries are the Republic of Chile and the Republic of Colombia, respectively.

Even stranger is that throughout history, there are and have been numerous Confederations, Republics and United States in the world, yet some would feel it more of a slight to refer to citizens of the U.S. as somehow uniquely of this character (i.e. estadounidense) than to simply refer to them as Americans. That is to say that citizens of the US are labeled as citizens of THE (one and only) United States yet this somehow comes across to some as less presumptuous than to apply the label of "Americans."

Of course considering how many nations, following America's successful bid at independence, tried to model in whole or in part their first attempts at independence on the example presented by the United States, I suppose that it does make some sense that people might recognize the U.S. as THE United States. For example

At the same time, however, the entire argument (at least to me) is ridiculous. Throughout history, nations can and have had the sole discretion in terms of naming their own nations. Often a nation is named on the basis of some particular cultural tie to a person or landmass. The story is no different with the US. At the time that the U.S. came into existence, there was no other nation named "America." I imagine that use of the name probably had something to do with the fact that those on the continent were likely drawing a distinction between themselves and their European (in particular, English) counterparts whom they no longer identified with. That is that they no longer felt as strongly tied to the European continent but now felt more a part of the American continent.

In any event, it seems a bit petty that anyone should actually become angry with this peculiarity in nomenclature. After all, Christopher Columbus is often credited with "discovering" the Americas, yet I doubt anyone makes much of stink when it comes to the fact that Colombia is named after him. We are all "the Land of Columbus," yet only one nation in this Hemisphere has had the hubris to claim this for themselves. For that matter, Venezuela, Ecuador, and Panama should all rightfully have the same claim for its citizenry considering that they were all originally part of Greater Colombia which eventually split, leaving the Republic of Colombia to retain the rights to this particular name.

Considering Simón Bolívar helped lead the peoples of Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Panama, Peru, and Venezuela to Independence, I suppose that there is also an argument that each of these countries could lay claim to being "Bolivians."

Then there is Ecuador. There are at least nine other countries in the world through which the equator runs, yet there seems to be no vocal opposition to the people of this nation laying claim to the title of "people of the equator." Probably even the most presumptuous of all would be the nation of El Salvador whose citizens purportedly belong to THE "Republic of the Savior."

Of course this entire discussion is both ridiculous and superfluous because we all know that us "Americans" -- that's right, I said us "Americans" -- just love to tick people off. I mean, not only do we take the name of the whole blasted continent(s) and claim it for ourselves, we also go and name a state after an entire people who live on entirely different continent (incidentally, I wonder if Georgians [from the U.S. state] and Georgians [from the European state] ever duke it out over who the real Georgians are). And we all know that the "real" Paris is in Texas. Then again, we have also been known to create the same type of confusion over names within our own nation (Quick pop quiz: if you are from Washington, do you live on the East Coast or the West Coast?)

I guess what it all boils down to is that if you wanted to be called the nation of "Americans" then your country probably should have thought of it first....or at least laid claim to the title before the U.S. did. In any case, after nearly 250 years of being referred to (as a nation) as Americans, it is a bit late to start crying foul play now.

Besides, if you start changing things now, then what will become of all those "cleverly" contrived euphemisms that we seem to churn out every so often in the name of political correctness. Would you actually desire that we actually coin new terminology like "African-United-Statesarian" and "Asian-United-Statesarian" to replace the already garish terminology that is currently employed? I just can't do it.. I was raised an American, and by gum I am going to die an "American". Besides "UnitedStatesarian" is just too durned hard to say.

updated ENE 24, 2014
posted by Izanoni1
Before anyone gets offended by the last couple of paragraphs (if anyone even gets that far), please recognize that this was written tongue in cheek (or rather keyboard in I-don't-know-what). If it offends, please forgive my indelicate sense of humor, I.. - Izanoni1, JUL 14, 2010
would just like to blame it on the delirium which occurred as a result of having written such an audaciously long diatribe - Izanoni1, JUL 14, 2010
This is, without a doubt, the greatest answer I have seen to any post on any social networking site. I would double or triple accept it as the best answer if I could. - petersenkid2, JUL 14, 2010
Additionally, I commend you on your eloquence - especially the precise and spectacularly placed "durned". - petersenkid2, JUL 14, 2010
A most excellent article, Iza, and very knowledgeable too! Again, the problem is not so much with what the citizens of the US choose to call themselves, but rather the fact that other Americans feel that said citizens have no more right to claim ... - Gekkosan, JUL 14, 2010
...the American "gentilicio" for themselves, any more than the French or the Germans could claim to be "the" Europeans, or Egyptians "the" Africans, to everyone else's exception. That's why this is an un-settleable argument. - Gekkosan, JUL 14, 2010
Tongue-in-cheek or not, you are right. Folks who argue about this have too much time on their hands. The point of language is to communicate, and of the thousands of times I've called myself an American in foreign countries, I've yet to be misunderstood - Echoline, JUL 14, 2010
@Gekkosan....The difference I see is that when asked his nationality, a man from Cairo is not likely to say that he is African but rather he will be called "Egyptian." In the same way a man from Munich is "German" and a man from Lisbon is "French." - Izanoni1, JUL 14, 2010
My point is that I am "American," but I live on the North American continent. In the same way someone from Juarez is "Mexican" and he too lives on the North American continent. Someone from Lima is "Peruvian" yet he lives on the South American continent - Izanoni1, JUL 14, 2010
The distinction is that the argument is one of apples and oranges. Certainly if we were speaking of continents, then yes saying that someone from Guatemala was not from the Americas would be absurd; however, citizenship to a continent and to a country... - Izanoni1, JUL 14, 2010
...are two different things. Getting worked up about this would be like the Citizens of Mexico (D.F.) catching flack from the states of the country for having the audacity to try to "claim" the name of Mexico for their own. A city is not a country, and - Izanoni1, JUL 14, 2010
a country is not a continent -- apples and oranges. - Izanoni1, JUL 14, 2010
Jejejejeje.....Sorry. I just caught that I wrote "Lisbon" when I had intended to write "Lyon" - Izanoni1, JUL 14, 2010
Kind of off topic, but I just wanted to point out that the only reason, to my knowledge, that we are now "THE United St..." is because it was originally "THESE Unit..." indicating plurality, to emphasize the power of each individual state. Now... - megan5, JUL 14, 2010
...instead of being referred to as all of the states together under one general purpose, we are referred to as a nation, just split up into states. It doesn't seem like a big deal, but it was to our forefathers, and it is if you take a government class ;) - megan5, JUL 14, 2010
OH, but other than that I agree with everything you said! :) Very well put. - megan5, JUL 14, 2010
@Megan....The verbiage in the Declaration of Independence does not refer to THESE United States but rather THE United States. This does not diminish the fact that each state was considered a sovereign body; however, the idea of state authority vs. - Izanoni1, JUL 14, 2010
federal authority is still relevant today. - Izanoni1, JUL 14, 2010
Are the people from Jakarta not equatorian? Of course they are. Do they give a flying fig what some folks in South America call themselves? No. - petersenkid2, JUL 14, 2010
@Gekkosan....what a great word, "gentilicio." Thanks for that :) - Izanoni1, JUL 14, 2010
I am so impressed by this eloquent statement Izanoni1 you are up there with O'Henry. - ray76, JUL 15, 2010
Izan, as I started to read this I thought it could only be Fidalgo or you. Fantastic!!! Oh, by the way, the real Paris is in Maine:) - Yeser007, JUL 15, 2010
Actually, the real Paris is in Ontario!jejejej - Brynleigh, JUL 15, 2010
For the love of God, this is TOO MUCH INFO! Izanoni1 I'm offended by the fact you spent all this time typing this blabber all by yourself. The answer could've been no longer than a single paragraph. - epicfail, JUL 15, 2010
or maybe even a single word - Izanoni1, JUL 15, 2010
Yes - epicfail, JUL 15, 2010
uh, the real question was - "why". Kind of tough to answer that with one word. - petersenkid2, JUL 15, 2010
There is an English one word answer that answers why: because - epicfail, JUL 16, 2010
"because" is a subordinating conjunction. As such, it cannot stand alone. A subordinating conjunction always comes at the beginning of a subordinate clause. - petersenkid2, JUL 20, 2010
Without the corresponding subordinate clause, the one word answer "because" is incomplete, and therefore, not an answer. - petersenkid2, JUL 20, 2010

I don't quite understand this either. I am from the USA, and just because I would consider myself an "American" does not at all mean that I am not acknowledging the fact our whole continent is the "North American continent" and that there are other people in our continent besides our individual country. It's just what we have been raised to say.

And personally, I especially don't understand the criticism of those who call themselves "Americans" for using that term on THIS site, of all places, where we are obviously pretty cultured and aware of other cultures, since we are here to learn about Spanish and the various Spanish-speaking cultures.

Sorry if this comes across as abrasive, I don't mean it in bad spirits at all! I just don't understand why it is an issue.

updated JUL 16, 2010
posted by megan5
It is a real, sensitive, and often heated issue for those inhabitants of the Americas who feel that they should not have to put up with "American" = "citizen of the US of A". You rarely hear about it outside the US, but it is a common and... - Gekkosan, JUL 14, 2010
... recurring discussion elsewhere. - Gekkosan, JUL 14, 2010
Honestly - I don't hear much of it here in Mexico City. Maybe in other parts of Latin America or in "provincia" it is more pronounced. - petersenkid2, JUL 14, 2010

Complicated argument. I do believe that many people from the rest of the Americas do resent that citizens of the United States of America refer to themselves as "Americans". Strictly speaking, they shouldn't even be "Norteamericanos", because Norteamérica includes both Mexico and Canada. One problem is that there isn't a word in English equivalent to Estadounidense, so they don't really know what else to call themselves...

Lots of people in the Hispanic Americas simply settle for "Gringos", although that word was originally used for the English invaders - and of course it tends to have some offensive overtones, and many US citizens don't very much like being addressed in that manner.

Anyway, this is an old argument that never gets settled, so I'm not sure that it will get very far this time around, eiher.

updated ENE 24, 2014
posted by Gekkosan
How is "Estadounidense" any good? That doesn't distinguish between Estadus Unidos de Mexico and Estados Unidos de America. - petersenkid2, JUL 14, 2010
Haha,I was just about to ask the same thing. - Yeser007, JUL 14, 2010
It doesn't , but NO Mexican ever calls him or herself "Estadounidense". Los Mexicanos son Mexicanos. In most of Latin America, if you say "Estadounidense" people know what you are talking about, and rarely question it. - Gekkosan, JUL 14, 2010
I would like to respectfully add that no USA person calls himself anything except American, and anywhere in the world if you say "American", people know what you are talking about. - petersenkid2, JUL 14, 2010
One other point... if people from Estados Unidos de America are Estadounidenses, are people from la República de Colombia called Republicanos? - petersenkid2, JUL 14, 2010
or the Republic of Chile, or the Rebublic of Argentina, or the Rebublic of Peru, or...... - Izanoni1, JUL 14, 2010
The thing is, this argument is not about what the US Citizens like to call themselves, but rather about what other people feel abot that choice. - Gekkosan, JUL 14, 2010
The thing is that it is not just US citizens "liking" to call themselves something, this terminology has also been used for a couple of centuries now by other nations as well. It's not so much a choice as it is ingrained....the word "choice" here is odd - Izanoni1, JUL 14, 2010
here because it would be like growing up knowing the word "raisin" only to find out later in life that there are those who find it offensive to say because they think that you should be calling raisins sun-dried-red-concord-grapes or some other such - Izanoni1, JUL 14, 2010
mouthful. - Izanoni1, JUL 14, 2010

I'm not sure if this is the correct answer, however, I have heard that people from the United States of America are called Americans because we have the word "America" in the name of our country.

I have never heard Mexico referred to as the United States of Mexico. But even if it is called that, the word Mexico is included in that name, therefore people from this country are called "Mexicans" in the same way we are called "Americans".

It is true that all people living in North, Central and South America live in "the Americas". I'm sure there is also a better explanation, but this is the only one I have heard of so far. smile

updated ENE 24, 2014
posted by Nicole-B
I have never heard Mexico referred to as the United States of Mexico? That's the name of the country. Estados Unidos Mexicanos. - petersenkid2, JUL 14, 2010
I'm surprised also Nichole that you have never heard that before. - Yeser007, JUL 14, 2010
Well that's because when people talk about "los Estados Unidos Mexicanos," they just say Mexico, including people who are from Mexico. - maripositaxx, JUL 14, 2010
I have just never heard to this country being referred to as anything other than Mexico. I am aware that it is comprised of states which are united. - Nicole-B, JUL 14, 2010
Many times Mexicans have asked where I am from. When I say Soy de los Estados Unidos, they never say..."So you are from this country?" - Nicole-B, JUL 14, 2010
Thick accent? - petersenkid2, JUL 14, 2010
Los estados Unidos, I believe, means 'USA'. Estados unidos alone just means 'United States' which can apply to Mexico. - Helado_eclectico, ENE 24, 2014

I have never heard a person from the south of the U.S. / Mexico border or north of the U.S. Canada, when asked about his nationality say "I am an American." In arguments/discussion such as this, I have heard "Yo también soy de América (o de las Américas")." (but that's a matter of context). I cannot believe that the same person, if asked by the immigration people when arriving in a European/Asian country and being asked "What is your nationality?" would ever answer "I am an American."

Since New York is a fairly well known city, I usually reply "Soy de Nueva York" (and 9 times out of 10 the response is "Ah, eres americano/norteamericano" (to which, I modestly respond, "pues, sí".

If the PC terminology that is so popular in the U.S. is to be observed, then I would expect that the Aztecs, Mayans, and Mapuches, et al. should all be referred to as "native Americans" (in disregard of the many other people who were born somewhere in the Americas).

When the goal of language becomes "not offending anyone's sensibilities", communication becomes impossible.

updated JUL 16, 2010
posted by samdie
Wonderful response. I wish I could vote for it twice. - petersenkid2, JUL 15, 2010
Excellent answer. "not offending..." seems to be the culprit. Way too much political correctness going on these days. - Yeser007, JUL 16, 2010

I cannot really add to what has been said at length above but will confirm that the citizens of the USA calling themselves "Americans" does annoy people here in Bolivia.

People here consider themselves as Americans.

Anyone note the hypocrisy in this statement (not on your part Ian, just in the attitude presented). If someone who lives in the U.S. calls themselves an American then it is "annoying" to someone living in Bolivia, yet in the very next breath it is implied that it is OK for a Bolivian to consider themselves American. Strange.

If you look up the terms citizenship or citizen (ciudadanía o ciudadano) you will find that these terms refer to the relationship between a person and the city or country in which he lives -- not the continent that they live in. A Bolivian, then, when speaking in terms of citizenship is not an American citizen.

There are many Nations in the Americas but only one American nation.

On the other hand, I can see how this might sound presumptuous 200 some-odd years later; however, in light of the fact that at this nation's inception and for at least the first 30 to 50 years thereafter, it was THE, one and only, United States of America.

The other peoples who would grow to be nations were merely (in terms of political divisions) extended provinces of other European nations. I wonder how these same Bolivians would feel if some country's citizens were to show annoyance at the fact that they had "monopolized" the name of Simón Bolívar in naming their country....as though any person of any country in this day and age actually had any say so as to what a country chose to name itself over a hundred years ago. Just plain strange.

updated JUL 15, 2010
posted by Izanoni1
I appreciate both of your answers Ira. I just didn't bother to post a comment on the first because I knew it would get lost among the other fifty comments. jeje Great explanations. - Nicole-B, JUL 15, 2010

I have seen similar remarks here.

I suppose we should ask citizens of the USA how they would like us to refer to them.

I have been called English and British. Both are accurate, either is acceptable, although I tend to use English.

updated JUL 15, 2010
edited by fontanero
posted by fontanero
Ah, but if you are a Scott, or Irish, you *would* very much resent being called "English".... - Gekkosan, JUL 14, 2010
and even if you are Welsh. - ian-hill, JUL 14, 2010
Not resent, but it would be wrong. - fontanero, JUL 15, 2010
Soy escocés :-) - lagartijaverde, JUL 15, 2010
Do you also accept British? Loch Lomond is beautiful, you're very lucky. - fontanero, JUL 15, 2010

Anybody who was born in America (canada, United Sates, and mexico) is an American.

updated JUL 15, 2010
posted by eric_collins
...and all the Central American and South American countries, too. See? Touchy issue. Not easy at all. - Gekkosan, JUL 14, 2010
Technically yes, Eric. But on the same level, you can see why Brazilians don't call themselves americans, they are a country in and to themselves, their country just happens to be in S. America. - amykay, JUL 14, 2010
Well Amy, all of the countries fall into that same category. - Yeser007, JUL 15, 2010

Until recently i always thought that only people from the USA were called "Americans" but then when my Mexican boyfriend showed me an American programme that took the mickey out of British people (grrrrr mad) and i started to defend my country from that poor attempt at humour, he pointed out that he too was an American and he pretended to take offence at the things i had said about America (It was only in defence!! I think America is an amazing country...wait! continent smile). He said that people in Mexico like to refer to themselves as Americans as well as Mexicans.

I'm not sure if what I've just written is relevant to your question - sorry if not :S. It's quite a confusing concept

updated JUL 15, 2010
edited by Cardiff1985
posted by Cardiff1985
An American programme that takes the mickey out of British people!! Never heard of such a thing, but I bet I would find it hilarious. I like the Simpsons, South Park etc where they are taking the mickey out of themselves. ;P - galsally, JUL 15, 2010
Sounds relevant to me. - Yeser007, JUL 15, 2010

I like very much what was said above:

I do believe that many people from the rest of the Americas do resent that citizens of the United States of America refer to themselves as "Americans". Strictly speaking, they shouldn't even be "Norteamericanos", because Norteamérica includes both Mexico and Canada.

I have heard US citizens say that Mexico was part of South America. I am one of those persons that do resent US citizens who call themselves "American" and frown upon any other person from Latin America who also dare call themselves "American". The American continent is from Canada to Chile, so we are all Americans.

However, since USA is "United States of America" I do understand why they call themselves "Americans"; I do not mean any offense whatsoever, but can't quite see USA as a name for a country; more like the literal meaning: united states of America.

Why is it OK to refer to people from the United States of Mexico as Mexicans and not OK to refer to people from the United States of America as Americans?

My answer would be because we are all American: Canadians, Mexicans, Nicaraguans, Chileans, Peruvians, Cubans... you name it and many US citizens (in my experience) scold Latin Americans because we use that term too.

It is a very touchy subject, a very complicated argument, and my answers are not meant to offend anyone at all... if I did, I am terribly sorry and will edit my post if asked.

Thank you. smile

updated JUL 15, 2010
posted by MadderSky
Thank you very much for your answer. It is very well written and very insightful! :-) - petersenkid2, JUL 14, 2010

I call myself an American when I'm speaking English and estadounidense when I'm speaking Spanish. There really isn't a good alternative in English, but there is in Spanish. Japanese takes it to more of an extreme. While they do have names for citizens of other countries, in general you are either Japanese or you're not.

I have been told by people in South America that they don't like estadounidenses calling themselves americanos. It is a bit arrogant, if you look at it from their point of view. On the other hand, I don't think norteamericano is appropriate either, since that slights our Canadian and Mexican continent-mates.

My attitude is that words mean what people agree they mean. Most people agree that in English an American is from the United States. In Spanish they generally agree that the correct word is estadounidense. I go with the flow.

updated JUL 14, 2010
posted by KevinB
Good answer. But still doesn't address the United States of "what". America? or Mexico? - petersenkid2, JUL 14, 2010
Were the states that made up New Grenada presumptuous in naming, in 1863, there short lived confederation of states the United States of Colombia? - Izanoni1, JUL 14, 2010
Well, we were the first United States in America, so that does give us some precedent. At the time everyone else was still a colony, just like we had been. - KevinB, JUL 14, 2010

OK, here are 2 more things to add to the melting pot. First is a response to this comment

That's another issue. Natural born American citizens of Mexican heritage when asked their nationality frequently respond "Mexican". - petersenkid2

When asked my nationality I will usually answer French, because that is my heritage, my Grandfather came to America to start a family then went back to his homeland. I, however, was born in the USA. I answer French because the question is usually asked out of curiosity about from where my name evolved. Face it, don't most of you who ask this question usually do so for that reason? I know I do, unless I want to know where a person is from for some other, more pertinent reason. I do, also, immediately tell them that I am not a Frenchman, I am an American, and if anyone has a problem with that then tough $#!+. It is just a descriptive term people, get over it.

Now for part 2. I wonder what this discussion would be like if the Confederate States had won their right to secede from the Union. confused

updated JUL 16, 2010
posted by Yeser007
If you read my profile, you know I am an American, married to a Mexican, living in Mexico. The reason I might ask someone's nationality is usually not due to curiosity about their name. - petersenkid2, JUL 15, 2010
You obviously have some reason to care. I can't think of any instance where a persons nationality made a difference to me, therefore it is curiosity. - Yeser007, JUL 15, 2010
One example of when a person's nationality made a difference to me: Me:Will you come and visit me in the United States? They:I would love to, but I was rejected in my application for a tourist visa. - petersenkid2, JUL 15, 2010
Here's another: One time when I was living in Singapore, 6 friends went for a bike ride and then a picnic. While at the picnic, we just happened to notice that there were 6 different nationalities represented: - petersenkid2, JUL 15, 2010
American, English, Singaporean, Japanese, Chinese, and Hong Kong. Thought that was pretty cool. We were all living in Singapore at the time. - petersenkid2, JUL 15, 2010
This last example to me is curiosity, and I suppose it's just a matter of defining that word. Did it matter to you or did you just fin it interesting? - Yeser007, JUL 16, 2010
As for your example with the visa it makes total sense to me and I can understand the need to know. - Yeser007, JUL 16, 2010
Just found it interesting. I like meeting people from other cultures and nationalities. And I especially like that we didn't even notice until we were there. We were just friends getting together. - petersenkid2, JUL 16, 2010

I received an email where it says that Yesero posted a comment on one of my answers. I could not find this comment even though I did the Edit > Find thing, so I am going to answer in a new post:

To say the USA frowns upon this is wrong. I am a citizen of the USA and absolutely do not deny anyone from any American country the right to call themselves American.

I did not mean every single US citizen. Of course there are those who are more open minded/don't mind/agree/ etc., but (in my personal experience) most of them do. I've had this discussion with some US friends and although we also never agreed on an answer, some of them agreed and some of them didn't like me saying it.

Also, while reading some other posts looking for this comment, it caught my eye some questions about why Mexicans do not use "American" to refer to themselves immediately.

My first gentilitious is Mexican; not an American because I was born in the country of Mexico. And this, I think, will apply to the rest of Latin American countries. But I can say am an American because I am from said continent.

I was in Europe, and there was a whole bunch of people and someone said: "Asians to the right, Europeans in the middle and Americans on the left." Japanese, Chinese, Korean, etc. people would go to the right, British, French, German, etc., would like in the middle and Mexican, Bolivian, US Americans, Chilean, etc., would go to the right.

I hope that helps explain myself better, haha.

updated JUL 16, 2010
posted by MadderSky
I wonder what they did with all of the Australians :) - Izanoni1, JUL 15, 2010
Omg. That's a good question. I need to inform myself about Australia. You've my hamsters in the spinning wheel. - MadderSky, JUL 15, 2010
Sorry Madder, I decided to not get into this at the time and deleted my comment. - Yeser007, JUL 15, 2010
Antipodean for Australians, New Zealanders etc? I like that explanation. :) - galsally, JUL 16, 2010

Hola, This is Mercedes Sosa's. I hope it gives some insight to my frinds from the United States.

Salgo a caminar por la cintura cosmica del sur

piso en la region mas vegetal del viento y de la luz

siento al caminar toda la voz de America en mi piel

y anda en mi sangre un rio que libera en mi voz su caudal

Sol de Alto Peru, rostro Bolivia, esta?o y soledad

un verde Brasil, besa mi chile, cobre y mineral

subo desde el sur hasta la entra?a America y total

Pura raiz de un grito detinado a crecer y a estallar

Todas las voces, todas

Todas las manos, todas

toda la sangre puede ser cancion en el viento

canta conmigo, canta

hermano americano

libera tu esperanza con un grito en la voz


Todas las voces, todas, todas las manos, todas

toda la sangre puede ser cancion en el viento

canta conmigo, canta hermano americano

libera tu esperanza con un grito en la voz

No sé cuándo el continente de dividió en norte y sur...

updated JUL 16, 2010
posted by LuisaGomezBartle

I like what it is said above. If the term "Asian" refers to people living in Japan, China, Korea, India... and "European" is referred to people living in England, France, Germany... why does "American" is exclusively for USA? "American" refers to US, Mexico, Colombia, Chile...

I sustain my question into the air, hoping to receive an answer that can help us all: how would you call a person that lives in the American continent?

Let me also explain what is my personal and humble point: I am not saying that "American" does not belong to USA. I understand what you mean by "American citizen" is a gentilitious of the name United States of America. I do get that. I believe that what bothers the rest of the American countries, is that, USA frowns upon the rest of us who exercise our right to say "we are American."

I gladly accept when citizens of the United States say "US Americans", because that is what they are. I believe we are "Latin American", but Americans still, so the rest of the continent can and correctly call themselves "American".

updated JUL 16, 2010
posted by MadderSky
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