Tell that to the Mexicans who use "norteamericano" to refer to a estadounidense.

The Mexicans I know insist on using the term estaounidense: point of pride. Several dictionaries report that the term "gringo" ... foreigners, especially of American and English origin. Hmm. And here I thought it was an alternate form of "estaounidense." -skipka

Let me a south-american contribution to this semantic issue.

As far as I have learnt, in USA "America" means "the United States of America". Therefore, an "american" is "a USA citizen". No questions about.
The landmasses comprising from Alaska to Tierra del Fuego are named "the Americas".
In all of Latin America, from Mexico to Argentina, 'America' means what you folks call "the Americas". Therefore 'americano' ('american') means 'citizen of any country in the landmasses from Alaska to Tierra del Fuego'.
'Norteamericano' means what you people call "american". Though in a geographic strictu sensu North America includes Canada and Mexico as well, a 'norteamericano' is a USA citizen. Period. Logic is not a characteristic of any language, you know.
A canadian citizen is a 'canadiense' and a mexican one is a 'mejicano' or 'mexicano'.
‘Estadounidense' is one hundred percent equivalent to ‘norteamericano'. Both are fully formal, polite words. Nevertheless, some language purist believe that ‘estadounidense' is a plain barbarism, and I agree, by the way: Under this criterium, a U.K. (‘Reino Unido') citizen could be named ‘reinounidense'( something like "unitedkingdoman". Ridiculous) or –still worst- an inhabitant of the former USSR should have been baptized
‘unionderepúblicassocialistassovietiquenses ( a kind of "unionofsovietsocialistrepublican". A language felony). Fortunately, these semantic abortions have not been coined. :-)

Fair to say: there are people more in touch with USA for one or other reason (business, for instance), who use the term 'americano' in exactly the same sense ("american") a USA citizen does it.

‘Yankee' and ‘gringo' may be used in colloquial, non formal, language. ‘Yankee' inequivocally means ‘USA citizen'.
‘Gringo' is a broader, more comprehensive term, usually applied to a foreigner with european look and physiognomy, if blue-eyed better, if blond-haired much better. If additionally you are italian, then ‘gringo' is guaranteed. :-)
Both ‘yankee' and ‘gringo' are not necessarily derogatory nor aggresive words, unless they are accompanied with some insulting adjective or the "body language" tells a different thing.

'Gringo' is also a widespread used nickname with local people, provided they have the described look and/or ancestorship. A friend of mine, named Carlos Piccinini -born and bred in Pergamino, the heartland of the argentinian "Pampa"- carries since his childhood the nickname 'gringo', and he is and will also be 'el Gringo' Piccinini for his friends.
Best regards
Peter Cantropus
Buenos Aires, Argentina
1 2 3
'Estadounidense' is one hundred percent equivalent to 'norteamericano'. Both are fully formal, polite words. Nevertheless, some language purist believe that ... agree, by the way: Under this criterium, a U.K. ('Reino Unido') citizen could be named 'reinounidense'( something like "unitedkingdoman". Ridiculous)

From time to time on Usenet (and I have used it myself) you see 'UKoGBaNIan' - person residing in the area known as the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

John Dean
Oxford
De-frag to reply
As far as I have learnt, in USA "America" means "the United States of America". Therefore, an "american" is "a USA citizen". No questions about. The landmasses comprising from Alaska to Tierra del Fuego are named "the Americas".

And in Canada this is exactly the same except that the bare "America" is used distinctly less often. When people refer to the United States of America, they are more likely to say "the US" or "the USA" or perhaps "the States". Google statistics below.
In all of Latin America, from Mexico to Argentina, 'America' means what you folks call "the Americas". ...

And, of course, in some other parts of the world as well.
In the tables below, "the us" means the total google counts for the two phrase searches "in canada and in the us" and "in the us and in canada"; each of the other three forms in each table similarly is a total of counts for the corresponding variations on those phrases. The percentages are taken within each table.
All sites:
the us 3980 (68.0%)
the usa 1136 (19.4%)
the states 437 (7.5%)
america 303 (5.2%)
.ca sites only (Canada):
the us 634 (71.2%)
the usa 165 (18.5%)
the states 54 (6.1%)
america 37 (4.2%)
.com sites only (mostly US):
the us 1897 (68.9%)
the usa 395 (14.3%)
the states 245 (8.9%)
america 217 (7.9%)
.edu and .us sites only (all US):
the us 205 (64.9%)
the usa 60 (19.0%)
the states 26 (8.2%)
america 25 (7.9%)
And just for fun:
.gov and .mil sites only (all US officialdom):
the us 61 (98.4%)
the usa 1 (1.6%)
the states 0
america 0
Note the very low counts in the last group as well as the standardization: no doubt the particular phrases I searched on, referring to Canada, are less likely to occur on those sites.
Say, let's do one more .uk sites only (UK):
the us 72 (46.2%)
the usa 64 (41.0%)
the states 10 (6.4%)
america 10 (6.4%)
Note the much weaker preference for the shorter form of the abbreviation.
Mark Brader, Toronto "I'm not a lawyer, but I'm pedantic and (Email Removed) that's just as good." D Gary Grady

My text in this article is in the public domain.
Students: We have free audio pronunciation exercises.
As far as I have learnt, in USA "America" means ... from Alaska to Tierra del Fuego are named "the Americas".

And in Canada this is exactly the same except that the bare "America" is used distinctly less often. When people refer to the United States of America, they are more likely to say "the US" or "the USA" or perhaps "the States". Google statistics below.

In informal speech and writing, Australians usually use "Americans" or "yanks" for US citizens and
"Canadians" for Canadians. There is no confusion
about whether "American" refers to yanks or Canadians, and much is made of the difference in what sometimes passes for Australian humor at America's expense and I mention this completely without home-country bias not that there's anything wrong with that, of course not, it's perfectly alright. Don't mention it.
Similarly, Aussies usually use "America" for the USA; sometimes "the states" is heard also, but I suspect that's a result of US media exposure. "US" and "USA" are seldom used in informal speech.
I think Google statistics require too much analysis to apply in Australia's case, because it would be
necessary to distinguish formal from informal usages.

I'm sure the dinkyi-di Aussies will state their case here if I have misrepresented them.

Michael West
Melbourne, Australia
(In the shadow of the You-Yangs)
(Email Removed) (Peter Cantropus) burbled

(. . .)
Let me a south-american contribution to this semantic issue. As far as I have learnt, in USA ... call "the Americas". Therefore 'americano' ('american') means 'citizen of any country in the landmasses from Alaska to Tierra del Fuego'.

(Interesting stuff snipt)
This is all very intresting, but in Asia, where I've been living for the past 20 years, immigration officers at airports, pre-school and school children, adults generally, and officials of almost every kind that I have met during this score years use the term "American" to mean "someone from the USA" and "America" to mean "the USA".

Japanese and Chinese both have very clear ways of writing these names, and there is no confusion at all in anyone's mind about what is meant when they see together on a newspaper page the two Chinese characters for ""sun" or "day" (as in "Sunday" or the "nichi" and "bi" in "nichiyobi" = "Sunday" in Japanese) and "rice" (pronounced, in this case, "bei" in Japanese): "nichibei" = Japan and America (the USA). In Mandarin Chinese, the character for USA is "mei" or "beautiful", so when one sees this character in similar collocations with the first Chinese character of the names of other countries, it always means "the USA and (whatever other country)". South America is quite simply "nanbei" in Japanese and "nanmei" in Chinese.

The American south places like Georgia and Alabama are "beinan" and "meinan".
When all the Asians I have ever spoken in English with and heard speak English in Japan, China, Taiwan, and Korea literally hundreds of thousands, and they were from dozens of Asian countries say "American", they mean USA-American and not South American or Mexican or Canadian or Tierra del Fuegan.
Whenever I have spoken to Europeans, Middle-Easterners, Africans, Canadians, Australians, New Zealanders, or South Africans and said I was "American", not a one of them asked if I was from Belize or one of the American-speaking islands in the Caribbean Sea. They just asked: "What state?"
The very few South Americans I have spoken to over the past few decades have never asked if I was Canadian or from the USA.

Yeah, point taken. Everyone who comes from North and South America is an "American" in the most trivial way possible. Big deal. "The Americas" is geographical-speak, not normal everyday English anywhere in the world, so what is this constant outcry about the nationality terms used.
"American", as far as I know", is an English word and does not exist in Spanish, so what native speakers of any brand of Spanish anywhere mean by "americano" is irrelvant to what the English word "American" means everywhere around the world.
Why isn't this issue dead and buried, as it deserves to be?

Franke,trying to kill some spam by using a different e-mail address.
Similarly, Aussies usually use "America" for the USA; sometimes "the states" is heard also, but I suspect that's a result of US media exposure.

I'm not quite sure what you mean by this. The USA isn't very usually called "the states" in US media.
-Aaron J. Dinkin
Dr. Whom
Site Hint: Check out our list of pronunciation videos.
"American", as far as I know", is an English word and does not exist in Spanish, so what native speakers of any brand of Spanish anywhere mean by "americano" is irrelvant to what the English word "American" means everywhere around the world.

And not only that... I think it was the Brits who started calling us Americans in the first place. I've done a very little research trying to pin this down with no success, but I believe they were already calling the colonials "Americans" before the Revolution. Speculation: they were England's American colonies, whose denizens were collectively called what? Americans, of course.
Why isn't this issue dead and buried, as it deserves to be?

Because some hardheads for inexplicable reasons take offense at the usage.

John Varela
In all of Latin America, from Mexico to Argentina, 'America' means what you folks call "the Americas". Therefore 'americano' ('american') means 'citizen of any country in the landmasses from Alaska to Tierra del Fuego'.

So what's your understanding of "fútbol americano"?

DRAE(1) gives "estadounidense" as one of the senses of "americano", without any geographic restriction.
(1) The Diccionario de la Real Academia Española . It was pointed out that I probably shouldn't assume that one.

Evan Kirshenbaum + HP Laboratories >Pious Jews have a category of
1501 Page Mill Road, 1U, MS 1141 >questions that can harmlessly bePalo Alto, CA 94304 >allowed to go without an answer

http://www.kirshenbaum.net /
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"American", as far as I know", is an English word ... what the English word "American" means everywhere around the world.

And not only that... I think it was the Brits who started calling us Americans in the first place. I've ... colonials "Americans" before the Revolution. Speculation: they were England's American colonies, whose denizens were collectively called what? Americans, of course.

This certainly agrees with what I remember from my high school and college readings in colonial American history.
Why isn't this issue dead and buried, as it deserves to be?

Because some hardheads for inexplicable reasons take offense at the usage.

I think it's more to the point to say that, for a variety of reasons, worthy and unworthy, they take offense at the existence of the USA. Ask most South Americans where they're from and they will not say "America", or what their nationality is and they will not say "American". Those who do are probably parrots or else too delusional to talk to. It's the old dog-in-the-manger ploy.
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