USA is not America

Indeed, U.S.A. is not America!

America is the name of a whole continent. United States of America means that the United States belongs to America and NOT that America belongs to the United States. So, next time you want to refer to The United States of America, you can do it as U.S. or the States or whatever you want but not as only America. Gotcha?

America

How should I use the term America then?

Here we will show you some wrong and correct uses of the term America:

  • This is how we do it in America.
  • This is how we do it in the States.
  • America is my country and I love it.
  • The United States is my country and I love it.
  • America lost the Vietnam war.
  • U.S.A. lost the Vietnam war.
  • Here in America we love Mc Donald's.
  • Here in the U.S. we love Mc Donald's.

Please, note that this page in not about demonyms (gentilics) but about the way to call a country.


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David(United States)says...

It is wrong to say that ‘America’ only refers to the USA.

It is wrong to say that ‘America’ cannot refer to just the USA.

It is wrong to say that it is incorrect to call the USA ‘America’.

None of you has ever conclusively demonstrated that it is incorrect to call the USA ‘America’. You have not demonstrated this because you cannot demonstrate it. You cannot demonstrate it because it is not, in fact, incorrect. Words can and often do have more than one meaning. Your feelings and preferences don’t determine which usages are “correct” or “incorrect”.

David(United States)says...

To clarify: I mean that it is wrong to say that ‘America’ only has one meaning, and that meaning is ‘USA’. It is also wrong to claim that ‘America’ cannot be used to refer to the USA by itself, and not all of the Americas. It is perfectly correct to use ‘America’ to refer to the USA by itself, or to use ‘America’ to refer to all of the Americas. These are just two of the meanings of the name.

Julieta(Argentina)says...

I think that a simple and trauma-free solution would be that (in English) just add the U and S to American, "US American", and that American again means "person from any country in the Americas"

Setsukosays...

this page is not about demonyms

Setsukosays...

I am not the same person as David or Morgan or Isabel. We are 4 separate people.

Danny(United States)says...

God Bless America and the American peoples

https://exhibits.stanford.edu/ruderman/catalog/mh870zj4522

Matt(United States)says...

Indeed, the first non-indigenous language spoken in what became the United States was Spanish, not English

https://www.americamagazine.org/politics-society/2018/04/05/america-not-synonym-united-states

Jessesays...

So what? Do you think that proves that America doesn’t often refer to the USA? Do you think that the way some people speak Spanish determines how English is spoken?

Anne(Canada)says...

It is not about the English language. It is about ignorance and a culture of complacency.

Setsuko(United States)says...

the fact that spanish was spoken in usa before english has nothing to do with this website

Fabián(Argentina)says...

Then -almost a hundred years after independence- the need would come to consider one nation and not several (consequence of the civil war) and this would be done through the use of the word with which they felt most UNIFIED, New Yorkers, Virginians , Pennsylvanians, etc against the British enemy, "Americans", a word that in the first decades of The United States was used only in its continental sense by the inhabitants of the new countries/states.

https://pintsofhistory.com/2014/10/23/why-the-u-s-has-no-name/

https://ejournals.library.vanderbilt.edu/index.php/ameriquests/article/view/15/24

Fabián(Argentina)says...

I found the source of all this controversy! several times I thought that the name of this country had something strange, it was not the typical name of one or two words like Japan, Argentina or Puerto Rico and New Zealand, it seemed the name of an organization / institution (international), but then I thought that maybe it was a silly thing to think and let it go. Until I found these articles, "Why the U.S. has no name?" by David W. Tollen and "American, United Statian, Usamerican, or Gringo?" by Luis Villafañe G. Santos

Fabián(Argentina)says...

In the first article, he conclusively affirms that what was founded on July 4, 1776 was not one country but several, countries (states) that were organized together to confront and preserve their recent freedom against the all-powerful Great Britain, and that it is this is the reason for the "strange" name, the consideration of American countries ("American" because they belonged to the continent called America) called "The United States of America".

Fabián(Argentina)says...

This is why in the declaration of independence the word "united" appears without an initial capital letter and after mentioning the number of states but the words "states" and "America": "the thirteen United States of America", and why the assembly that declared this independence was called "Continental Congress" or because its liberating armed force was called "Continental Army", or that in the Articles of Confederation it is written "the name of this CONFEDERATION shall be The United States of America" and not " the name of this NATION", etc etc.

Fabián(Argentina)says...

Then -almost a hundred years after independence- the need would come to consider one nation and not several (consequence of the civil war) and this would be done through the use of the word with which they felt most UNIFIED, New Yorkers, Virginians , Pennsylvanians, etc against the British enemy, "Americans", a word that in the first decades of the United States was used only in its continental sense by the inhabitants of the new countries/states.

https://pintsofhistory.com/2014/10/23/why-the-u-s-has-no-name/

https://ejournals.library.vanderbilt.edu/index.php/ameriquests/article/view/15/24

Mrs. Anonymoussays...

Glad you shared this important info with us. Some people here might have never had a proper instruction on how the U.S. was started and why. And as you put it so eloquently, there are people who will not get it. I said this and some refute it but as you have shown us a little bit of research and history lesson shows us that the U.S. was a unity of sovereign States or nations which got united to be stronger against the intrusions of any other nation and usually from Europe which is the continent these States were trying to get their independence from. Thus, the United States, formed in the continent of America and thus they included it on their name of this Federation/Union, The United States of America. Not that America is the country, no, America is the continent in which these United States were founded.

Fabián(Argentina)says...

Correction: "the thirdteen united States of America"

Fabián(Argentina)says...

thank you Mrs. Anonymous! And what do you think about using the word "American" as a nationality?

Mrs. Anonymoussays...

Fabian, Americans are all those who live in the continent of America.

Anonymous(Italy)says...
Anthony(Canada)says...

The United States is IN America. In the northern part specifically.

Scarlet(Uruguay)says...

Uruguay is also in America

Setsuko(United States)says...

OP didn't say it wasn't

Roberto(Argentina)says...

In a matter of country names (and other things too) there are no definitive truths, some words like "republic", "emirates", "states" or "lands" consider it part of the name itself, such as Republic Dominican, Czech Republic, United Arab Emirates, United States of America, Netherlands, and Germany (which in their language are called Deutschland, which means "land of the people").

Roberto(Argentina)says...

But in other cases those same words are considered only formal clarifications about the type of political order by which that country is organized, such as "República Argentina" (whose central denomination is "Argentina"), State of Japan and United Mexican States. (institutional name that Mexicans hardly use in their daily lives, only in bureaucratic legal matters, for them their country is basically called Mexico).

Roberto(Argentina)says...

It doesn't seem so serious to me that the United States of America is sometimes abbreviated "America", because it is the informal way of doing it, the official way is "United States". What does seem debatable to me is his nationality, "American"; but anyway I think it would be fixed just by adding "US", that is "US American".

Mrs. Anonymoussays...

America means the continent how can calling the U.S. as "America" be something of an informal name of that country if it was added due to the fact that the United States were founded in the continent of America? Let's see, if let's say a country appears and wants to be called "The United Provinces of Africa" and then people would then be lazy and just "informally" start calling it "Africa". Wouldn't that be a conflict with the continent of Africa? Well, how about the real country of "South Africa" do they say they are just Africans? If they do then they are correct because they are in that continent, but they usually say they are from South Africa. So it is the same with the case of the U.S., where they decided to put the continent's name in their name to denote where the U.S. is located and in what continent which is "America".



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