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Author Topic: What do you call a citizen of the United States of America?  (Read 2195 times)
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You know that's a heck of a good point... if people ask me where I'm from, I don't say "America" and I don't say "The United States" I usually say "Colorado" and if they want to know more I say "Denver, West Side"
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Would 'Yankee' offend?
Depends on who you direct it at. Yankee generally refers to people in the northeasern US,...

Haven't spent much time in the Upper Midwest, eh?

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...people from the south tend to take offense.

Shortly after moving to Houston I stopped at a grocery store to buy a Mountain Dew.  Unable to locate the cooler, I walked to an employee who was stocking a freezer.  I politely asked, "Excuse me ma'am.  Would you mind telling me where the pop is?"  She turned slowly, glared into my eyes, then announced to everyone within earshot, "Y'all sound like a bunch uh damned Yankees!  The Cokes is over dere."

Folks south of the Mason-Dixon line, west to Texas, will most certainly take offense at being labeled "Yankee".  A few will actually take so much offense as to resort to violence.
« Last Edit: December 27, 2013, 01:40:47 pm by Coding Badly » Logged

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 smiley  Whew!  I was a bit concerned someone would not snag that low hanging fruit.  (For what it's worth, I've found the CIA Fact Book to be very accurate.  Unlike a few of their other endeavors.)
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On the American Continents there are a number of individual countries. On the North American Continent the citizens of The United States of America arerefered to as Americans. (includes those from Hawaii) (or Yanks to some of the rest of the world, Reference to Yankee Doodle from Revolutionary times).  Those from Canada (Eh!) are referred to (politely) as Canadians (or Canadiennes) and impolitiely as Canucks, though some may not take that as derogatory, depends on the source. And those from Los Estados Unidos de Mexico are referred to by English speakers as Mexicans (and by Spanish speakers as Mexicanos or Mexicanas, with the X pronounced as an H)
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Well, some of my worst grades in school were in history, but I have taken an interest in it the past few years, and it looks like much of the confusion can be blamed on the American Civil War (a.k.a. "War Between the States").  Apparently, prior to that Great Unpleasantness, most people said "The United States of America are..." implying that we were a collection of individual sovereign entities (states), located on the continent of America, united in a coalition of sorts, which provided a unified interface to other countries, sort of like a labor union or a professional society.  After the GU, people started to say "The United States of America is...", giving form to the "... one nation, [under God], indivisible..." concept that prevails today.  Since calling people "United States of Americans" is a bit clumsy, it got shortened to just "Americans", which is certainly unjust to the others on the continent, but there it is.

As to the "yank[ee]" term, during the 1776 Revolution it referred to the American Colonists, and still has that meaning in some contexts.  However, during the Civil War, the North (Union) people were called the "yankees" by the South (Confederate) people, who in turn were called "rebels" by the North.  It is for this reason that folks in the old Confederate States of America will often take umbrage at being called "yank[ee]".
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Would 'Yankee' offend?
Depends on who you direct it at. Yankee generally refers to people in the northeasern US,...

Haven't spent much time in the Upper Midwest, eh?

Quote
...people from the south tend to take offense.

Shortly after moving to Houston I stopped at a grocery store to buy a Mountain Dew.  Unable to locate the cooler, I walked to an employee who was stocking a freezer.  I politely asked, "Excuse me ma'am.  Would you mind telling me where the pop is?"  She turned slowly, glared into my eyes, then announced to everyone within earshot, "Y'all sound like a bunch uh damned Yankees!  The Cokes is over dere."

Folks south of the Mason-Dixon line, west to Texas, will most certainly take offense at being labeled "Yankee".  A few will actually take so much offense as to resort to violence.


I only recognize the four compass directions. "Midwest" is a fictional land that only exists in movies.
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We should call ourselves the Earth claimants, just in case someone placed our race over here as a reward/punishment or a sick reality show smiley
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FWIW, Alaskans call themselves Americans as well.  At least those who participate wholly in modern society.  There are many, many indigenous people here with great history who might not consider themselves attached to the USA so much as their particular region of Alaska.  Much like Native Americans who exist in parallel to the residents around them.

I take no offense to being referred to as a yank, and resigned to accept many of the other labels we may have been given due to our own actions, habits, and culture...  smiley-roll-sweat
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"American"
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and "American" might refer to someone from South America (or Mexico).
Nah; they have their own countries, and their own names "Mexicans", "Brazilians", "Canadian", etc.  It's a bit confusing that America co-opted two continent names, perhaps, but people don't usually feel a need to identify their continent of origin, so it usually works out OK.

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Plus people from Hawaii are hardly "American".
You asked for a name for citizens; actual geographic location is irrelevant...  Of course people from Hawaii are American.

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And folks form Puerto Rico and American Samoa and a couple other protectorates are also Americans, thoug some there might have other feelings/leanings....

 
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We, in Italy, usually use the therm "Americani" (Americans) to mean "citizens of USA".
A more correct therm is "Statunitensi", a neologism made by the union of the words "Stati" (states) and "Uniti" (united), that means citizen of United Stated (of America).


I'm using that since its Italian and I like italy. I'm American but my great-grandparents immigrated from Italy,  so my dad's side is pretty much Italian.
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I usually go with the Aussie title "Seppo"

No I don't, just kidding.....

But I do often remind USA citizens that America is two continents. Also, as we saw above wrt to Mexico, the USA isn't even the only "United States" on the planet!

My current favourite- or perhaps given the context of this thread, favorite- is "Merkin"
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By amazing coincidence.... now playing:  Lady Antebellum's Home is where the heart is...

sings along.... just South of the Mason-Dixon li-i-ine
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I usually go with the Aussie title "Seppo"

No I don't, just kidding.....

But I do often remind USA citizens that America is two continents. Also, as we saw above wrt to Mexico, the USA isn't even the only "United States" on the planet!

My current favourite- or perhaps given the context of this thread, favorite- is "Merkin"

I don't understand this sort of thing at all. Why does it matter? Do you get mad at people from the UK when they call themselves "European"?

Also, "America" is not a continent at all. There is a North America, and a South America, but "America" does not exist as a continent. People from the US, Mexico, and Canada are "North American". People from Brazil are "South American".
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Why does it matter?

It doesn't. Relax.

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Do you get mad at people from the UK when they call themselves "European"?

I am from the UK, and would never describe myself as European, heaven forbid. In fact, if I had been born about 100km further south, I'd have been French. Shock, horror.
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