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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Comments (181)

american(United States)says...

I'll just say this, if a new country is formed in Europe and it's named United States of Europe but it's only a part of the continent... Would their citizens become the new Europeans by right of the name of their country? And Europe would become the Europes?

Does it sound right that "america" is inside north America, which is also part of "the americas"??

Davidsays...

Maybe. Maybe not. What we do know is that it happened in the Americas with the United States.

Whether or not it sounds right to you or anyone else, it is the reality of the situation. It is a fact that the USA is very commonly called ‘America’ by many, many, many people all over the world who speak many different languages.

There are a number of people who post here who like to pretend that facts that they don’t like are not facts. They pretend that their preferences determine reality. I hope you aren’t one of these poor souls.

Saris Maria(United States)says...

The United States is in some countries called "America" because the U.S. has been using the name of the continent for a long time. People continue to assert that America is the name of a country but they can not assert how did the name came to be the country's name or where did the country get the name from. Once they answer these questions, they know that they are in a bind. The name is copied from the continent and used as if it is only a country's name. So much is the conflict that the English speaking countries have resourced to divide the continent of America, in order to make the name available for its snatching, since by dividing the continent into South America and North America, the U.S. now can easily be called America and leave. But we know that the rest of the countries in America, are not buying into this move.

Sylvia(United States)says...

Well said! I have been commenting on this for a very long time! Journalists, politicians, and sometimes even teachers refer to The United States as America.

Davidsays...

They refer to the US as America because it is one of the country’s names.

German(Argentina)says...

According to your reasoning, "the People's Democratic Republic of Algeria" could be referred to as "People", because "People" is one of the country's name.

Davidsays...

That’s not my reasoning, you simpleton. ‘People’ IS NOT one of Algeria’s names because the country IS NOT just called ‘People’. ‘America’ IS one of the US’s names because the country very commonly IS called ‘America’. Why are you such a moron?

German(Argentina)says...

I'll say it again. Américo does NOT have anything to do with your country. América is the name of the whole continent. That's how Europeans called it. And it was long before the British settlements in North America. So, respect my continent's name. Your country is the United States, or United States of (a continent called) America. It will never be America alone.

Davidsays...

But the US is America. Because people call it that. Because that is one of its names.

The Americas are America. Because people call it that. Because that is one of its names.

The only reason that the Americas IS America is because people call it that. For this EXACT same reason the United States IS America. All that matters is what people call things.

Your BS rules, that you pretend prevent the US from being America, do not exist. They are fictional. They are fantasy. Words can and do have multiple meanings. This is the case with America. America originally referred only to South America. Now it refers to many other things, including the Americas and the USA. This is simply a fact. Your dislike of this fact doesn’t change anything. What is the rule that says that America only means what you want it to mean? We both know that no such rule exists. You lose.

German(Argentina)says...

People IN YOUR COUNTRY call it that. All Spanish speaking countries and continental Europe stick to the original and real definition: America is a continent. Check your facts on Wikipedia.

Sophia(UK)says...

Ha, bit of an aggressive way to go about things, but, I mean, you certainly got your point across!

Bruno(Colombia)says...

Lol, yeah, maybe not 'aggressive,' but definitely thorough!

German(Argentina)says...

America means "the land of Américo". The truth is that Américo Vespucio never navigated North America. He only explored the Caribbean and the South Atlantic. He is believed to have reached as far South as Argentine Patagonia.

Please, stop paying homage to Américo. He couldn't have cared less about the United States.

Davidsays...

If we must base today’s use of the name on Vespucci’s travels, then nobody in North or Central America can refer to their continent or region using the word ‘America’. German, because you are so obviously completely logical and consistent in your ideas, you clearly only use the name ‘America’ to refer to South America. Right? You know, because that’s where Vespucci traveled. You don’t refer to all of the Americas as ‘America’, right? Because that would be wrong according to your impeccable reasoning.

German(Argentina)says...

I don't mind sharing the name America with all the continent. What I DO mind is that one country wants to steal the name for itself. Even worse, that country is one that has nothing to do with Américo Vespucio.

Davidsays...

What you mind or don’t mind doesn’t determine what is or is not a name of a country. You don’t like that ‘America’ is a name of the USA. This just means that you don’t like the fact that the name is used that way. It doesn’t mean that the reality of this usage ceases to exist. It doesn’t change the fact that many people all over the world use the word ‘America’ to refer to the USA. Your likes and dislikes don’t create or erase the meanings of words. Your preferences don’t negate reality.

Davidsays...

“Even worse, that country is one that has nothing to do with Américo Vespucio.”

Just like all the other countries of North and Central America have nothing to do with Vespucci. Because, you know, he didn’t explore there. We can always count on your arguments to be consistent.

Matthew Jay(United States)says...

You make a geographic point to a political argument. While factually correct, the distinction is lost on most. It reminds me of the efforts colleges spent trying to rename "dorms" and calling them "residence halls." And to further refute your point, Canadians and Mexicans neither think of nor refer to themselves as "Americans." Ask any Chinese or Sudanese (or any other foreign national): "Who are the Americans?" Absolutely no one will generally refer to the all residents of the North and South American continents. Sorry, but as geographically incorrect as it may be, "USA" and "America" are conflated terms and at this point, inseparable.

Roda(United States)says...

Now a days, the name America has been used and misused for so long to mean the United States that sure you will find more people saying it. It has been a narrative from the English/USA and has been spread all over the world and people just go along with it. And NO! it is not the same concept as the "dorms" and "Resident Halls" example that you have mentioned. You know well that dorms and resident halls are naming the same thing. This is not the case with the name of "America". America is the name for the continent in the new world and a country/nation used it in its name most probably due to the fact that that country/nation was founded in the continent of America. It seems that only later, people misguided with the notion that America is the USA were comfortable to continue naming the nation as America, ignoring that the name was of the continent.

Roda(United States)says...

Not everyone goes with the idea that America is the USA. Some countries kept the name America as the continent in the new world.

Davidsays...

Still waiting. You got nothing. I win this game show game.

Davidsays...

Roda, it seems like you continue to pretend that ‘America’ originally referred to all of the Americas. Is this true? If so, why? The 1507 map and the many quotes I provided conclusively prove that this is not true. Why do you continue to lie about this? What does this say about you? What does this say about your “argument”? How can you expect to be taken seriously?

Davidsays...

An argument that is fundamentally based on a lie is no argument at all. You desperately need to learn this. ASAP.

Roda(United States)says...

Poor you! Haven't you read my posts?

Roda(United States)says...

Not pretending, it did. The whole continent's name is America, only that through the manipulation of words, a country situated in America, took the name of the continent and spread it as if it was only a country's name. But, how can a country in America be called America? The ice in a cup example comes to mind. The ice is not the cup or would you say that by manipulating the word, cup would be okay and hence people would then accept it just because words acquire new meanings just because humans want them to and thus one would have to ask a waiter to put cup in the cup??? or old meaning to put ice in the cup.

Davidsays...

The wait continues.

Davidsays...

People call the USA ‘America’ for exactly the same reason that people call the Americas ‘America’. Because words can and do acquire multiple meanings over time. ‘America’ originally referred to just South America. This is now an archaic sense of the word that is very rarely used. Later ‘America’ could also refer to all of the Americas. This is a very common sense of the word today in some languages, but rare in English. Then ‘America’ could also refer to the USA. This usage is the overwhelmingly dominant one in English today. Speakers of many other languages also frequently use ‘America’ to refer to the USA.

People call the USA ‘America’ because ‘America’ has come to mean the USA. People call the Americas ‘America’ because ‘America’ has come to mean the Americas. It is just as simple as that. It’s the exact same process in English, Spanish, Portuguese, French, etc. The word ‘America’ originally meant South America, now it has other meanings in many different languages.

Davidsays...

This is all totally factual, completely relevant information. Why do you downvote the truth?

Roda(United States)says...

I understand that this is what could be going on in the world, but as I have said, words don't change on their own, people changed them. If we didn't know that the name America was being used to call a country when the name has been rightly used to call a continent, this discussion would not be happening! The case in point is why is USA using the name of the continent now even more than before? If the USA is in the so called "North American" Continent why is the USA using the name of the one and original continent "America" which is the way millions of people in the world go by?

Davidsays...

Why do you constantly feel the need to say that humans change the meaning of words? No sh*t, Sherlock! Who else would create words, use words, and give words new meanings? Hamsters? Sentient microwave ovens? Of course it’s humans doing this.

Davidsays...

I love it how your greatest contribution to this discussion is to repeatedly point out the obvious fact that it is humans who create and use human language. Thanks for your exceptional scholarship.

Roda(United States)says...

So you do accept that the name America is originally the name of a continent, but that the USA began using it to mean a country right? That people now use it to mean the USA? The name America was originally to name the new lands thereby the new continent and not a country. Then later a country misused the name and appropiated it to call itself but the name "America" had always and will always be the continent's name even when the English speaking people changed it to mean whatever they wanted to fill their own ideologies. People might use words to make whatever they want with them, but words don't change its people who change them and its people who have the interest of changing their meanings. Words don't change by themselves!

Roda(United States)says...

All of what you say about America changing its meaning is due to the English-speaking people promoting the name of America as it seemed fit and convenient to them, but a person would be foolish to say that the name America does not come from the continent's name. Trying to give excuses on how words acquire new meanings or change with time, is ridiculous when you know perfectly that persons change words to whatever they please. This conflict began when the name America was misused to name a country in the same continent as America. By changing the meaning of the word "America" in English, people created confusion.



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