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Different languages use different terms for citizens of the United States , who are known in English as " Americans
Americans
". All forms of English refer to U.S. citizens as "Americans", a term deriving from "America "; in the English context, it came to refer to inhabitants of British North America , and then the United States. However, there is some linguistic ambiguity over this use due to the other senses of the word "American ", which can also refer to people from the Americas
Americas
in general. Other languages, including French , German , Japanese , and Russian , use cognates of "American" to refer to people from the United States, while others, particularly Spanish , primarily use terms derived from "United States". There are various other local and colloquial names for Americans.

CONTENTS

* 1 Development of the term "American" * 2 International use * 3 Alternative terms * 4 Colloquial terms * 5 See also * 6 Notes * 7 References

DEVELOPMENT OF THE TERM "AMERICAN"

See also: American (word)
American (word)

Amerigo Vespucci
Amerigo Vespucci
first demonstrated that Brazil and the West Indies did not represent Asia's eastern outskirts as conjectured by Christopher Columbus
Christopher Columbus
, but instead constituted an entirely separate landmass hitherto unknown to the peoples of the Old World . Martin Waldseemüller coined the term “America” (in honor of Vespucci) in a 1507 world map .

First uses of the adjective "American" referenced European settlements in the New World . "Americans" referred to the indigenous peoples of the Americas
Americas
, and subsequently to European settlers and their descendants. English use of the term "American" for people of European descent dates to the 17th century; the earliest recorded appearance is in Thomas Gage 's _The English-American: A New Survey of the West Indies_ in 1648. In English, "American" came to be applied especially to people in British America , and thus its use as a demonym for the United States
United States
derives by extension.

The United States
United States
Declaration of Independence of 1776 refers to "the thirteen united States of America", making the first formal use of the country name; the name was officially adopted by the nation's first governing constitution, the Articles of Confederation , in 1777. The Federalist Papers of 1787–1788, written by Alexander Hamilton , John Jay , and James Madison
James Madison
to advocate the ratification of the United States
United States
Constitution , use the word "American" in both its original, Pan-American sense, but also in its United States
United States
sense: Federalist Paper 24 refers to the "American possessions" of Britain and Spain, (i.e., land outside of the United States), while Federalist Papers 51 and 70 refer to the United States
United States
as "the American republic". People from the United States
United States
increasingly referred to themselves as "Americans" through the end of the 18th century; the 1795 Treaty of Peace and Amity with the Barbary States refers to "American Citizens", and George Washington
George Washington
spoke to his people of "he name of American, which belongs to you in your national capacity" in his 1796 farewell address . Eventually, this usage spread through other English-speaking countries; the unqualified noun "American" in all forms of the English language now chiefly refers to natives or citizens of the United States; other senses are generally specified with a qualifier such as "_Latin_ American" or "_North_ American".

INTERNATIONAL USE

International speakers of English generally refer to people from the United States
United States
as "Americans", while equivalent translations of _American_ are used in many other languages: French (_un Américain_) (although the term étatsunien derived from États-Unis, United States in French, is also accepted), Dutch (_Amerikaan_), Japanese (_アメリカ人_, rōmaji : _amerika-jin_), Filipino (_Amerikano_), Hebrew (_אמריקאי_), Arabic (_أمريكي_), and Russian (_американец, американка_).

In German , the designation _US-Amerikaner_ and its adjective form "US-amerikanisch" are sometimes used, though _Amerikaner_ (adjective: _amerikanisch_) is more common in scientific, official, journalistic and colloquial parlance. The style manual of the _Neue Zürcher Zeitung _ (a leading German-language newspaper) dismisses the term _U.S.-amerikanisch_ as both ′unnecessary′ and ′artificial′ and recommends replacing it with _amerikanisch_. The respective guidelines of the foreign ministries of Austria, Germany and Switzerland all dictate _Amerikaner/amerikanisch_ for official usage. "Ami" is common in colloquial speech. In Italian , both _americano_ and _statunitense_ are used, although the former is more common.

In European Portuguese , _americano_ is mostly used in colloquial speech, but the term usually used in the press is _norte-americano_. In Brazilian Portuguese
Brazilian Portuguese
, the everyday term is usually _americano_ or _norte-americano_ and _estadunidense_ is the preferred form in academia .

Chinese has distinct words for American in the continent sense and American in the U.S. sense. The United States
United States
of America is called _美国_ (pinyin: "měiguó"), while the continent of America is called _美洲_ (pinyin : "měizhōu"). There are separate demonyms derived from each word; a US citizen is referred to as _美国人_ (pinyin: "měiguó rén").

Although some Spanish speakers use the translation of "American" (_Americano_) as well, the official _Diccionario Panhispánico de Dudas de la Real Academia
Academia
Española _ nonetheless recommends instead _estadounidense_ because "American" can also refer to all of the inhabitants of the continents of North and South America. In Spanish-speaking Latin America and the Caribbean, Americans
Americans
are _estadounidenses_, and in colloquial uses, _gringos_, but the word usually has a disparaging meaning depending on the context in which it is used.

ALTERNATIVE TERMS

The only officially and commonly used alternative for referring to the people of the United States
United States
in English is to refer to them as citizens of that country. Another alternative is _US-American_, also spelled _U.S.-American_, _US American_, and _U.S. American_. Several single-word English alternatives for "American" have been suggested over time, including " Usonian ", popularized by Frank Lloyd Wright , and the nonce term "United-Statesian". The writer H. L. Mencken collected a number of proposals from between 1789 and 1939, finding terms including "Columbian, Columbard, Fredonian, Frede, Unisian, United Statesian, Colonican, Appalacian, Usian, Washingtonian, Usonian, Uessian, U-S-ian, Uesican, United Stater". Nevertheless, no alternative to "American" is common in English. Names for broader categories include terms such as _Western Hemispherian_, _New Worlder_, and _North Atlantican_.

COLLOQUIAL TERMS

" Yankee
Yankee
" (or "Yank") is a colloquial term for Americans
Americans
in English; cognates can be found in other languages. Within the United States, "Yankee" usually refers to people specifically from New England
New England
or the Northern United States
United States
, though it has been applied to Americans generally since the 18th century, especially by the British. The earliest recorded use in this context is in a 1784 letter by Horatio Nelson .

SEE ALSO

* List of demonyms for U.S. states

NOTES

* ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ _D_ _E_ "American, _n._ and _adj._". _Oxford English Dictionary _. Oxford University Press
Oxford University Press
. 2008. * ^ _Merriam-Webster\'s Dictionary of English Usage_, p. 87. Retrieved November 28, 2008. * ^ Holloway, Thomas H., ed. (2010). _A Companion to Latin American History_. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell. p. 6. ISBN 978-1444338843 . * ^ "The Charters of Freedom". National Archives. Retrieved 2007-06-20. * ^ Articles of Confederation, Article 1. Available at the Library of Congress' American Memory. * ^ Alexander Hamilton. "The Federalist no. 24". * ^ James Madison. "The Federalist no. 51". * ^ Alexander Hamilton. "The Federalist no. 70". * ^ "The Barbary Treaties: Treaty of Peace and Amity". * ^ "Washington\'s Farewell Address 1796". From The Avalon Project. Retrieved November 10, 2008. * ^ _Vademecum. Der sprachlich-technische Leitfaden der «Neuen Zürcher Zeitung»_, 13th edition. Verlag Neue Zürcher Zeitung, Zürich 2013, p. 102, s. v. _US-amerikanisch_. * ^ Eidgenössisches Departement für auswärtige Angelegenheiten: „Liste der Staatenbezeichnungen“ (PDF) * ^ Bundesministerium für europäische und internationale Angelegenheiten: „Liste der Staatennamen und deren Ableitungen in den vom Bundesministerium für europäische und internationale Angelegenheiten verwendeten Formen“ (PDF) * ^ Auswärtiges Amt: „Verzeichnis der Staatennamen für den amtlichen Gebrauch in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland“ (PDF) * ^ (in Spanish) "El gentilicio recomendado, por ser el de uso mayoritario, es estadounidense" Unidos Estados Unidos (3) RAE. Retrieved March 31, 2011. * ^ _A_ _B_ Wilson, Kenneth G. (1993). "American, America". From _The Columbia Guide to Standard American English_. Retrieved April 27, 2009. Archived June 29, 2008, at the Wayback Machine . * ^ " United States
United States
Guide: Introduction, The US-American education system: The US has the most diversified". _Just Landed_. * ^ University of the Pacific (United States) : _1.5.4 - Sources of US-American Culture_ * ^ osb international systemic consulting: _Potentials and pitfalls of German / U.S.-American cooperation in workgroups._ * ^ Cornell University
Cornell University
International Students and Scholars Office (ISSO): _What Is a US American? Part One_ * ^ "Postmodernism - AnthroBase - Dictionary of Anthropology: A searchable database of anthropological texts". _anthrobase.com_. * ^ University of Kentucky (UK), Education Abroad: U.S. American Identity Abroad * ^ The _Concise Oxford Dictionary_ (1999:1580) gives the first meaning of the noun "Usonian" as "a native or inhabitant of the United States". * ^ "United States". From the _Oxford English Dictionary_. Retrieved May 4, 2009. * ^ _Merriam-Webster\'s Dictionary of English Usage _ (1994:88). First published in the December 1947 issue of _ American Speech _. * ^ Matthews, Allan (2006). _Sovereigns Peacefully Take Charge_. * ^ Bartow, Arthur (1988). _The director's voice_. p. 50. * ^ Carlson, Elwood (2008). _The lucky few_. p. 15. * ^ _A_ _B_ "Yankee". From the _Oxford English Dictionary_. Retrieved November 27, 2008.

REFERENCES

* _Merriam-Webster\'s Dictionary of