Are Americans Only From the United States?

Like most citizens of the United States, I call myself American all the time. It wasn’t until I moved to Argentina that I learned how egocentric this single word is. Imagine a conversation that goes like this:

Hi, my name’s Angie. What’s yours?

I’m Jorge. Pleased to meet you.

Where are you from Jorge?

I’m Argentine. How about you?

I’m United Statesian!

Yep, that’s a translation of a culturally appropriate conversation in Argentina. I learned pretty quickly not to call myself American because I invited a level of criticism for which I wasn’t prepared to face.

People who live in South America are Americans too. So are people who live in Canada or Mexico or in Central America. They have every right to call themselves Americans too. But the English Language messes this up horribly because we in the United States have no other word for ourselves other than American.

Is United Statesian even a proper word? According to Urban Dictionary it might be:

I would love to hear your thoughts on the subject… do we have an obligation as “Americans” to start calling ourselves United Statesians as definition number one suggests. Or are people from other American countries being overly sensitive? If you’re not from the US, do you even care what you call us or is this conversation so totally overblown that you wonder why you even finished reading this?

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4 thoughts on “Are Americans Only From the United States?

  1. I remember the first time I went into the interior of Mexico many years ago. When they asked where we were from, we said we were American. We were constantly corrected to call ourselves “Norteamericanos” as they considered themselves Americans, too! This blew my teenaged mind. That said, I think they get the gist of where we’re from. πŸ™‚ Love the title of your blog, Angie!

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    • It’s funny that they wanted you to call yourselves Norteamericanos because Mexicanos are Norteamericans as well! We wondered if we should just start calling ourselves by the State we identify with – We’re Californians, sort of – but that gets real tricky because military folks don’t always come from any clear state.

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      • Sorry I just saw this! I never did figure that one out–it’s a head scratcher! They said we shouldn’t say Americanos, because they were, too. Ha. That was a new one to my teenaged brain. At any rate, hope your packing is going well as you set off on a new adventure! I miss talking to you. πŸ™‚

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  2. I miss talking to you too! I hate entering this part of the move where we’re separating from the place we’re at but we haven’t made any connections for where were going. But having my online friends that understand what’s going on helps tons.

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