Why folks from the U.S. are called

[Warning: The following consists largely of opinion. It is intended to be taken with a grain of salt. Those of you who are on low-sodium diets, feel free to use the sodium substitute of your choice.]

I never heard much on the debate until I got internet access, but there is a large groups of people (usually Canadians) who object that people from the United States of America are referred to as “Americans”. Obviously this is a plot by the US-ers to imply that unless you were born there, you aren’t really a valid resident of the continent.

Seriously, I think that probably isn’t the case, and I use the example of the U.S.'s neighbor to the south as an example. In 7th grade Spanish class, I learned to my astonishment that Mexico is actually Los Estados Unidos de Mexico – “The United States of Mexico” (U.S.M.).

If you called folks from the U.S.A. “US-ers”, you’d logically have to call folks from the U.S.M. “US-ers”, as well (unless you called them EU-ers – pronounced “Yewers”).

Since we call the Mexicans by the last name in their nation’s full name, then why not Americans? Otherwise, why weren’t Canadians referred to as “Dominionites” or some such, back when canada was a Dominion (it was the Dominion of Canada at one time, wasn’t it?).


Canadians can bite me if they’re gonna be this lame about things.

We are the United States of AMERICA.

We happen to be in the continent of North America, but objecting that we got the name is like complaining that South Africans for THAT name.


Is this really a big deal up North? I figure Canadians have better things to do than whine about something as unimportant as this.

That said, if they want to refer to themselves as North Americans, I don’t believe they would be wrong. Stupid, but not incorrect.

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Lots of folks get grumpy about calling US residents “Americans,” and it’s not just the Canadians. There’s an awful lot of America, after all–most of a hemisphere.

Many South Americans refer to all the inhabitants of North America as norteamericanos. Residents of Los Estados Unidos de Mexico are Mexicano (Mexican), Canadians are Canadense (Canadian), and those in the US are Estadounidense (literally United States-er).

The US is one of the few nations whose common name cannot be easily converted (in English) to apply to its residents. We don’t have a word for “United Statesian,” at least not one that sounds good. So, through a combination of language, tradition, and being the biggest kid on the block, it’s Ecuador/Ecuadoran, Honduras/Honduran, Mexico/Mexican, Canada/Canadian, and United States/American.

There are large groups of Canadians that believer the Reform Party and Preston Manning are worthy of their votes.

There are large groups of Canadians that think Quebec has a legal and viable claim for separation.

There are large groups of Canadians that think gravel running while drinking beer is a good idea.

There are large groups of Canadians that think driving their skidoo across open water on a mostly frozen lake is brave and fun as long as you bring an ice pick to help you climb out of the water if you don’t quite make the other side.
I’d like to be able to call these people Americans, or Mexicans or Bolivians… or Martians for that matter. Unfortunately they can only be called CONGENITAL IDIOTS!

technically, yes, the Americas include all of N. & S. America, not just the USA.

but worldwide, people have accepted American = from the USA, so at this point in time, it may be futile to argue


I had no idea there were so many large grounps in Canada, I thought the population was rather scarce :wink:

Anyway. You’d think Canadians would be thankfull. When someone screams for all Americans to die, they can go. “oh, they mean those Americans.”

To appease our ornery neighbors to the north, I will, from this point on, forever refer to people in my native land as United Stations.

Canadians might get more milage by objecting to the “Norse”, which means “people from the north”. Do those stinking Norwegians not recognize that there are LOTS of other people from northern areas, too? What arrogance! How dare they!

Being a Canadian myself, I find it very offensive that you IGNORANT Americans can say such things about your northern neighbors. Besides, I have never heard a single person complain about Americans being called Americans. I really don’t know how you guys can say such things about Canada when most of you probably don’t know the first thing about it!

I have it on good authority that all Canadians are professional dogcatchers, eat canned ravioli, and snort cruched cockroaches to get high.

Isn’t that right, Asher?

All you’ve done now is prove the ignorance of Americans that this very site tries to prevent. What spawned this hatred of Canada? Is America full of hippocrites that think everyone else is dumb when they should be taking a look at themselves. If you guys think that Canada has some problems, take a look in the mirror. For goodness sakes, you guys are the same people that elected Reagan and bombed Iraqis for a nickel on oil!!!

I know the people of Kuwait were very happy to have me help to save a nickel on oil.

Newbie here. But, like Jerri Blank from STRANGERS WITH CANDY, I’ve got something to say.

I am going up to Canada next Friday, to see my late grandmother’s people in Nova Scotia. I’m also spending some time in Halifax, in a great old hotel on the waterfront (love that exchange rate! but if you’re Canadian it probably sucks).

In the spirit of Cecil, I shall fearlessly call every Haligonian, Cape Breton, or visiting Toronto tourist I see an American and shall gauge their reactions and report back here, if I’m still alive. :smiley:


Who BTW voted for Mondale

I’m from the USA and if I want to call myself an American, I will. Besides, America (the USA, that is) has true ownership of the name America (Amerigo Vespucci --> America). So we were nice enough to let Canada (our cold Northern neighbor) and Mexico (our hot, Southern neighbor) and nearly two dozen Central American and South American countries borrow the word “America” and smack it on their countries’ names. The thiefs. Now they blame US!!! The nerve. They should pay an annual fee to use it. Hmmm… a few hundred years times $100,000 a year times about 20 countries… buh-bye National Debt.

::Ah, it’s great to smack a little sarcasm into my posts::

All that I’m trying say here is that Canadians couldn’t give a rat’s ass that you call yourselves Americans. No one really cares. Once in a while someone might say, “Have you ever wondered why Americans call themselves Americans”. Then every one would shrug it off and you’d never hear anything about it for a long while. For some reason, all of you just decided to make a big fuss about it, probably 'cause you haven’t made any cracks about Canada in a while. And the U.S. doesn’t own the name America, America implies the whole “new world”, as it was called in Vespucci’s time.

And Canada doesn’t have the word America in its name.

I served 20 years in the USAF and consider myself a patriot. I really enjoyed the few visits to Canada I have had, and have met very few Canadians who are as rude and obnoxious as we Americans can sometimes be. I am embarrassed for those of you who can not make the distinction between humor and obnoxious jingoism.

I specifically refer you to the disclaimer in the OP:

Actually, I had expected some people to evaluate the content of the OP and comment on it, with or without humor. Instead, it has become a showcase for poster-children of the Flag-Waving Idiots of America and the only cheesed-off Canadian I’ve ever run across (sorry Asher) apart from that guy in the beer commercial. Really, I expected a bit more discussion and a lot less poo-gas.



And if you have a problem with that, you can suck my gun collection.

:smiley: <---- The preceding is a “smiley,” indicating that the above response is to be taken in jest, and when read aloud, done so with much sarcastic wit.

There will never be a day when I would ever consider calling myself an American. I am a Canadian. A Canadian with Scottish, Irish, snd Swedish roots. It’s the Irish that makes me so damn uppity at times.

I personally don’t care what the citizens of the United States call themselves. If you say “I am an American” I know what you are talking about.

I’m with Oldscratch, when they start shooting I want them to see me waving the Maple Leaf so that they don’t accidentally shoot my ass off. What do you think out peacekeeping efforts are all about? When some other country’s citizen gets so pissed off and targets Americans they might just pause and think… oh wait… that could be a Canadian…

Baloo- you have been very complimentary and your post has pointed out how people misperceive Canadians. Some of us are very patriotic and downright uppity. We are all not mild mannered, laid back, pilsner drinking, toque wearing, pogey collecting eskimos. Do I have to explain what a toque is? It is a hat. Usually made of wool. It keeps your head warm when it is -40.
We like Joe. He’s not really that pissed off and it seems that he is disliked by a great number of Americans. This commercial and the sentiments expressed have nothing to do with Americans. I know it is tough for some Americans to realize that the world does not revolve around them but guess what?

McKenna - sounds like a good Irish name there… you are a brave man and more than welcome to the beatings you are going to get, there are maritimers who don’t even consider themselves Canadian let alone American. Perhaps find some older Newfoundlanders and ask them about Joey Smallwood. The bruises won’t feel so bad if you have a bottle of Screech handy.