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?


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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"America" means "las tierras de Américo" (the lands of Americo). Américo Vespucio (italian name: Amerigo Vespucci) was the explorer who realized that Columbus didn't land in India, but in a new continent. Americo never set foot on the current territory of the United States. Americo explored SOUTH America instead. The first time the name "America" appeared on a map, it was written over Brazil. So, what do the United States have to do with Americo or America?

Mojo Jojosays...

By your “logic”, what does Mexico have to do with America? Or Guatemala? Or any country in North America? The simple answer: they are all in the Americas. This isn’t difficult.


If America is the United States, where is South America? In Texas?

Mojo Jojosays...

No, South America is the southern continent of the Americas. This isn’t complicated.


Are you saying that someone can be South American and not be American? Are you stupid or your parents were cousins?

Holly Ross(United States)says...

You're being deliberately dense. America has two meanings.

Christo(United States)says...

I just want to say, as a New Mexican, that we aren’t like the other gringo states in the United States. We have a unique culture that is just as colorful and historic as any country in Latin America. I’m so sorry that we let the United Stations steal our land and “United Statify” us. Trust me, we really are trying hard to keep our Latin American heritage alive no matter how hard the US is trying to change us. Believe me, we aren’t like the other states, we are uniquely New Mexico.

JED(United States)says...

As a former New Mexican I can attest to this as well. Even us gringos immerse ourselves in that culture. To suggest there is even an "Amercan" culture in the United States is ridiculous. I've been to every region of this country and each has a different culture and even dialects people in other areas don't understand. The only thing they seem to have in common is McDonald's. Lol. Even then the menus have variances.

Can you send me some green chile? It's really hard to find in Georgia.

Marc(United States)says...

My father always told me that the whole continent is America and he hated when people referred to the United States as simply "America". I do have to point one thing out, during the Olympic games, do you ever see a uniform that says "America" or does it say "USA"?

Mojo Jojosays...

You realize that there is a difference between a country’s official name and its common or colloquial names, right? Also, what your father loves or hates is important to him, but doesn’t dictate the meanings of words, and how they are used by billions of people.

JED(United States)says...

Even USA is incorrect. It's just U.S.


I watched a recent French/German documentary called ‘The Age of Tanks’. It revealed a lot about the current international usage of ‘American’ and ‘U.S. American’. Every person interviewed—whether speaking English, French, German, or Russian—used their language’s version of the word ‘American’ to refer to citizens of the U.S. They also used the adjective form to refer to things of or relating to the U.S. Only the English-speaking narrator ever used the term ‘U.S. American’, and she used it only sometimes. She regularly used ‘American’ as an adjective and noun to refer to the U.S. and its citizens. So, ‘U.S. American’ is showing up a little bit out there in the world, but ‘American’ dominates in many languages, among billions of people.

Joe Balbona(United States)says...

I am a United Station?

Jayden Hill(United States)says...


BRIAN GRAHAM(United States)says...

This is ridiculous. Why can a person identify as a boy or girl but cannot identify as an American?

I am American from Maryland. When i go abroad i say im from America. If they get offended and say they are too, I tell them no, you are from Columbia as Columbia does not have the name America in it. USA of course does. I feel people are just looking for reasons to be offended. Seriously, never ever going to change.

Jayden Hill(United States)says...

it's Colombia,not Columbia. They're still from America because America is a continent, not a country.

JED(United States)says...

That's because you don't know the name of your own country.

“That in all continental commissions, and other instruments, where, heretofore, the words ‘United Colonies’ have been used, the stile be altered for the future to the “United States.”

Mojo Jojosays...

Medas (Mexico) wrote: “you realize that every country is a collection of United States in the country of America....”

I think you meant to write “in the CONTINENT of America”. If so, are you saying that every country in the Americas is a collection of united states?

“A collection of united states” is more technically known as a federation, or a federal state. The other kind of state is the unitary state. The unitary state is far more common in the Americas than the federal state. So, not every country in the Americas is a collection of united states.

Even if all the countries of the Americas were federal states, so what? That wouldn’t change the fact that the US is very commonly called ‘America’ by billions of people, speaking many languages, all around the world. It wouldn’t mean that such usage is “incorrect”. It wouldn’t mean that the name “United States of America” is in any way “incorrect”.


the United States of America is different from the mexican United States because the USA Is talking about a group of United States OF America not AMERICAN United States because it is referring to a collection of states that are united to make a country in America.

plus the name was originally put by a man named Americo Vespucio when he realized that Columbus had landed in a new country so they ended up calling it America and people in the US around 1776 suddenly decided that they should get the name and just named the country USA

Adam(United States)says...

By this logic, nobody should ever refer to any other country by a shorthand name. "Mexico" should not refer to the United Mexican States. "China" should not refer to the People's Republic of China.

Or we could all agree to stop freaking out about words. America can refer to either the country of the United States of America or the continents of North and South America. China can refer to the region that includes the both the People's and the Democratic republics of China, as well as the country of the People's Republic of China. Linguistically, English speakers often maintain the distinction between two referents that share the same word. Why can't it be any different for "America"?

JED(United States)says...

How is adding two additional words using a shortened version? If the country was named USA and people called it US then you'd have a point. That's not the case though. It's US and people incorrectly call it USA.

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Let the world know that USA should not be called America! America is one whole continent.