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BS: Name for people from USA

McGrath of Harlow 26 Aug 13 - 06:56 AM
MGM·Lion 26 Aug 13 - 07:09 AM
GUEST,kendall 26 Aug 13 - 07:25 AM
McGrath of Harlow 26 Aug 13 - 08:42 AM
Rapparee 26 Aug 13 - 09:52 AM
GUEST,Grishka 26 Aug 13 - 10:02 AM
Bill D 26 Aug 13 - 10:05 AM
John P 26 Aug 13 - 10:13 AM
Dave Swan 26 Aug 13 - 10:14 AM
GUEST,Allan Conn 26 Aug 13 - 10:43 AM
GUEST,Allan Conn 26 Aug 13 - 10:48 AM
Ebbie 26 Aug 13 - 11:08 AM
number 6 26 Aug 13 - 11:08 AM
VirginiaTam 26 Aug 13 - 11:17 AM
GUEST,mg 26 Aug 13 - 11:38 AM
GUEST,Grishka 26 Aug 13 - 12:11 PM
Bonzo3legs 26 Aug 13 - 12:19 PM
GUEST,Allan Conn 26 Aug 13 - 12:36 PM
GUEST,Allan Conn 26 Aug 13 - 12:43 PM
GUEST 26 Aug 13 - 12:58 PM
McGrath of Harlow 26 Aug 13 - 01:01 PM
gnu 26 Aug 13 - 01:43 PM
GUEST,Grishka 26 Aug 13 - 01:49 PM
McGrath of Harlow 26 Aug 13 - 02:38 PM
Bill D 26 Aug 13 - 03:01 PM
GUEST,Allan Conn 26 Aug 13 - 03:04 PM
Leadfingers 26 Aug 13 - 03:36 PM
gnu 26 Aug 13 - 03:44 PM
Ebbie 26 Aug 13 - 03:49 PM
McGrath of Harlow 26 Aug 13 - 03:50 PM
GUEST,Allan Conn 26 Aug 13 - 04:01 PM
GUEST,Allan Conn 26 Aug 13 - 04:05 PM
GUEST,Allan Conn 26 Aug 13 - 04:11 PM
GUEST,Grishka 26 Aug 13 - 05:00 PM
GUEST 26 Aug 13 - 06:46 PM
gnu 26 Aug 13 - 07:07 PM
JennieG 26 Aug 13 - 07:28 PM
EBarnacle 26 Aug 13 - 07:41 PM
JohnInKansas 26 Aug 13 - 08:31 PM
ChanteyLass 26 Aug 13 - 09:08 PM
McGrath of Harlow 26 Aug 13 - 09:23 PM
YorkshireYankee 26 Aug 13 - 09:33 PM
Janie 27 Aug 13 - 12:01 AM
MGM·Lion 27 Aug 13 - 12:50 AM
MGM·Lion 27 Aug 13 - 12:56 AM
Joe Offer 27 Aug 13 - 02:10 AM
GUEST,Allan Conn 27 Aug 13 - 02:27 AM
MGM·Lion 27 Aug 13 - 02:48 AM
GUEST,Allan Conn 27 Aug 13 - 03:05 AM
McGrath of Harlow 27 Aug 13 - 08:47 AM

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Subject: BS: Name for people from USA
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 26 Aug 13 - 06:56 AM

The old thread about how the English haven't got a national anthem of their own, and discussing suggestions, has surfaced again.

It set me thinking of a similar issue relating to the USA. Not about national anthems, the USA has more than enough of those, but about how its people should be referred to.

It's the only country I can think of where there isn't really a special and exclusive name for term for its inhabitants. The French are French, the Jamaicans are Jamaicans, and so forth round the world. The English sometimes get confused whether they are English or British, but that's a different issue.

But the people of the USA are what? "Americans" is the respectful term. But there are all these other people from the Americas who are also entitled to be called that. There's "Yanks", but that is as likely to be hostile as friendly, more especially in its Spanish form, "Yanqui". - and it doesn't go down well in parts of the USA either.

So do people in the USA ever wish they had a name all of their own?


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Subject: RE: BS: Name for people from USA
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 26 Aug 13 - 07:09 AM

We tend on here to call them Yoosers (and ourselves collectively Yookers), I have observed. But I don't suppose "Yoosers" would do as any sort of official designation.

Presidents & such talk of "My Fellow-Americans", suggesting that "Americans" is the term they themselves would favour. It's a sort of 'default' thing, I suppose: I mean, Canadians and Mexicans and Chileans (cont p94) all live on the American continent but have specific designations: leaving "Americans" to be used by the denizens of the US specifically.

~M~


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Subject: RE: BS: Name for people from USA
From: GUEST,kendall
Date: 26 Aug 13 - 07:25 AM

Amerigo Vespucci never set foot on the continent, yet he got it named for him. How? MONEY!

If you ask a European what is a yankee, they will probably say, "Someone who lives in America." If you ask someone in say South America they might say "Someone who lives in the United states."

In, say, Mississippi, they might say, "Someone who lives in New England."
In New England, "Someone who lives in Vermont." In Vermont? Someone who eats pie for breakfast.


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Subject: RE: BS: Name for people from USA
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 26 Aug 13 - 08:42 AM

The same issue applied with the USSR. "CItizens of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics" is a bit of a mouthful. They often got referred to as "the Russians", but of course many of them weren't Russians at all. The other term in use was "the Soviets" - in way a parallel is calling the USA "the States", but no one ever calls its inhabitants "the Staters".

The USSR ended the problem when they abolished the country ( though I'm not suggesting that was the reason they did that). But that would be a bit drastic.


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Subject: RE: BS: Name for people from USA
From: Rapparee
Date: 26 Aug 13 - 09:52 AM

The US was settled by draft dodgers, criminals, slaves (Black AND white), Indians (both sorts), rebels, religious fanatics, atheists, Irish, Germans, Chinese, Japanese, poor people, rich people, soldiers, sailors, Basques, Lebanese, Cape Verdeans, and just about every group you can think of. They have all "intermingled."

I suggest "Mutts."


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Subject: RE: BS: Name for people from USA
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 26 Aug 13 - 10:02 AM

US Americans, US-Americans, US citizens.

"Soviet citizens" was an officially accepted and even encouraged name, though a bit strange considering that "sovyet" simply means "council".

"Citizens of ..." is always the safest form, but rarely needed. Other problems result in the fact that some countries have been renamed by non-democratic regimes, so that exiled citizens use a different name.

More importantly: we should avoid confusing a country with its government whenever we can. Governments can decide for their country, e.g. about declaring war (- regrettable, but formally correct -), but should generally not be trusted to speak on its behalf, even if elected democratically. "The relation between the USA and France" has so many aspects, that adding "... gvts. of ..." may not be too much typing if confusion must be feared.

"Yoosies" and "Youkies" may do when referring to national sports teams, similar to the long-established "Aussies". I would not use either of these names in any other context, although I know that Australians are actually very fond of the abbreviation "Aussies". It may still sound as if they were not being taken seriously, when so addressed by foreigners.


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Subject: RE: BS: Name for people from USA
From: Bill D
Date: 26 Aug 13 - 10:05 AM

Like many words in many languages, 'Americans' doesn't cover exactly what it refers to, but has become so embedded that it's useless to try to change it.

(or maybe we'll consider it when Brits stop referring to 'hoovering'... ;>). Hoover is a company, not a verb.)


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Subject: RE: BS: Name for people from USA
From: John P
Date: 26 Aug 13 - 10:13 AM

"American" might come from the fact that the name of the country is the United States of America. People are normally referred to by the name of the country; Spanish people in Spain, English people in England, etc. Calling the people "United States of Americans" is too much of a mouthful and is terribly unclear. Perhaps the question should be about what the country is named instead of what the people are called. Taken literally as a description rather than as a name, "United States of America" would refer a union of all the governments in the Americas. But since it is a name and not a description, calling the inhabitants "Americans" makes perfect sense.


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Subject: RE: BS: Name for people from USA
From: Dave Swan
Date: 26 Aug 13 - 10:14 AM

C'mon, Bill. You've never said Kleenexing? :)


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Subject: RE: BS: Name for people from USA
From: GUEST,Allan Conn
Date: 26 Aug 13 - 10:43 AM

I take it pretty much everyone knows what is being talked about if the word Americans is used? If we were talking about Canadians as well then we'd say North Americans. And we have South Americans etc. I suppose though that there is no obvious thing for describing people from the entire Americas as a whole?


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Subject: RE: BS: Name for people from USA
From: GUEST,Allan Conn
Date: 26 Aug 13 - 10:48 AM

Mind as to my last post I suppose we have the same problem in regard to the British Isles - and I know many Irish people dislike the term so no need to go there. Not everyone from the British Isles is British and of course we don't actually have a common adjective that is used for people from the British Isles. We don't really even have a proper name for everyone from the UK other than British which isn't technically correct as the whole of the UK isn't in Britain.


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Subject: RE: BS: Name for people from USA
From: Ebbie
Date: 26 Aug 13 - 11:08 AM

Another point to consider: Why are all the American continents 'America', in the first place? I realize they are -or were- all connected but there are, politically speaking, clear delineations.

I suppose in some distant future we may become "the United States of the AmericaS."

Just musing here: We don't have a problem with 'European'. A Frenchman is a European, as is a Pole. Same with 'Asian': citizens of Japan are Asian as are, say, citizens of Myanmar.

Ah ha. I see there is a difference between citizens of Europe versus those of Asia.

So why are Europeans known as FrenchMEN, and EnglishMEN and ScotsMEN and IrishMEN- you get the idea- ? We don't say JapaneseMEN.

We can't solve the problem of what to call the USAians until we first resolve the problems of the older societies.


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Subject: RE: BS: Name for people from USA
From: number 6
Date: 26 Aug 13 - 11:08 AM

Ami ... singular, Amis ... plural

ok


Yanks, yankees ( but this probably does not really go over good with those that live south of the Mason-Dixon line ... then there are what we call Americans (after all they are the only Americans, Canadians and Mexicans don't count)

how about ... global cowboys

biLL


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Subject: RE: BS: Name for people from USA
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 26 Aug 13 - 11:17 AM

How about excolonists? Hey I can poke fun cause I are one. Actually, I like that global cowboy. Several meanings most not good but sadly true.


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Subject: RE: BS: Name for people from USA
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 26 Aug 13 - 11:38 AM

we call ourselves americans. I at least welcome people from Chile, Canada, wherever to call themselves americans as well. It is very rude to take our name away from us as long as we are not guilty of saying others in n, s and central america can not use it as well. But they tend to identify themselves as a particular country, i.e., Mexico and we have reference to the continent and it can't easily be changed. It is a nice name that stands for something, ideals that have not been met but still can be. Please do not call us USAians.


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Subject: RE: BS: Name for people from USA
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 26 Aug 13 - 12:11 PM

mg, if you welcome Chileans to call themselves Americans as well, you must cater for the case that someone wants to refer only to the citizens of the USA. For example, speaking about "the 316 million Americans" would effectively deny Chileans being Americans. My favourite is "US Americans" - but I am open to better suggestions.

Ebbie, languages can go even stranger ways than politics, and we have no choice but to adapt best we can. It is not long ago that the "chairperson" was invented, a very fortunate idea; we have not yet seen "Frenchperson". I think "French" serves all grammatical roles alright. (Some may insist that a female German be called "Gerwoman", plural "Germen" and "Gerwomen", non-gender form "Gerperson/s" or "Gerpeople" or just "the Ger" ;). "Ottoman" was just a dynasty, so "citizens of the Ottoman empire" is the only correct naming, not "the Otto".)

"Chinaman" is definitely off polite usage nowadays.


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Subject: RE: BS: Name for people from USA
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 26 Aug 13 - 12:19 PM

USAians of course!!!


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Subject: RE: BS: Name for people from USA
From: GUEST,Allan Conn
Date: 26 Aug 13 - 12:36 PM

"So why are Europeans known as FrenchMEN, and EnglishMEN" I think only some are. And sometimes they need not be. For instance a Scot need not be a Scotsman he or she can just be a Scot. Likewise we wouldn't say Germanwoman we'd just say a German for either sex. Spaniard as opposed to Spanishman. Pole for Polish of either sex etc. Seems actually just more to be the British and some near neighbours who use the 'man' bit as part fo the noun itself. Frenchman, Dutchman etc.


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Subject: RE: BS: Name for people from USA
From: GUEST,Allan Conn
Date: 26 Aug 13 - 12:43 PM

"I think "French" serves all grammatical roles alright" It doesn't really though. 'He is French' but not 'he is a French'. It needs to be 'he is a Frenchman'or at the very least add man as a seperate word. Whereas 'he is Italian' and 'he is an Italian'. You could say he is an Italian man but you don't need to.


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Subject: RE: BS: Name for people from USA
From: GUEST
Date: 26 Aug 13 - 12:58 PM

"Name for people from USA"

Southerners.


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Subject: RE: BS: Name for people from USA
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 26 Aug 13 - 01:01 PM

But of course the French don't say "a Frenchman". If they wanted to say it they"d say "un Francais" or "une Francaise" if it were a woman. It's problem with the English language.

The complication with English/British/UK is a slightly different one - but it does give rise to a consequence which provides an exception to what I said earlier about the USA is the only country without a specific and exclusive term for its citizens. There's no accurate word for a citizen of the UK either, since British properly really refers to the island Great Britain, not to a chunk of Ireland as well.


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Subject: RE: BS: Name for people from USA
From: gnu
Date: 26 Aug 13 - 01:43 PM

Canuck may be slang but it's fine with me. We call Americans that or Yanks. I was rather taken aback, then, to find out that some Yanks feel Yank is an innacurate name and that some even consider it a derogatory term. Such had never occured to me. Then again, I am a Canuck so I still call em Yanks.

The term Brit means, to me, English, Scots and Welsh with Irish thrown in depending on the discussion and on whether any Irish are within earshot.

Time to drift... Canucks are not Hosers. Hosers exist in many parts of the world but the names vary from Redneck to Yahoo to Yabbo (spg?) and beyond. I am actually a real hoser, certified by Aeroquip to make hydraulic hose assemblies but I am not a Hoser. I am a Kent County Redneck (when in Kent County visiting me Redneck buddies an havin a thaw and a jaw). It's a nuance thing.


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Subject: RE: BS: Name for people from USA
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 26 Aug 13 - 01:49 PM

Allan (26 Aug 13 - 12:43 PM), since the words "Frenchman" and "Frenchwoman" exist, these roles are - by mere convention - not covered by "French", but if my feeling does not betray me, all (or most) others are, so that "Frenchperson/s" is not needed as desperately as "chairperson". "They are French" sounds correct to me, grammatically.

There are some unfortunate subtleties though, in fact in many languages. "He was the first Frenchman to become director of the IMF" - would that mean that Frenchwomen may have preceded him or not? "... the first Spaniard ..." would not pose that question.
Likewise we wouldn't say Germanwoman we'd just say a German for either sex.
"Gerwoman" could be the idea of a hypothetical gender activist I was referring to - note the winker symbol ;)

Compared to all those strange but unavoidable problems, "US American" is pretty straightforward, though not really beautiful because of the abbreviation.

As for "UK citizens", they could adopt "British" as a synonym if they wanted, but some do not want, for varying reasons/pretexts.


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Subject: RE: BS: Name for people from USA
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 26 Aug 13 - 02:38 PM

They could indeed adopt "British", and do, it"s essentially inaccurate. And if the Scots vote for independence it would no longer really be an available term, in a United Kingdom of Southern Britain and Northern Ireland. God knows what term will be used if that happens.


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Subject: RE: BS: Name for people from USA
From: Bill D
Date: 26 Aug 13 - 03:01 PM

"C'mon, Bill. You've never said Kleenexing? :) "

*grin*....naawww,never even heard it. And in my house we almost always say 'tissues' unless we mean a specific brand. We DO often say "Jello", because it's hard to find any other brand any longer. (Oh sure...I have opinions about jelly/Jello too!)

Now, as to nicknames, I don't 'usually' mind Yanks. I can usually tell by context or tone of voice how it's meant.

(It is not hard to find certain folks, usually in the South, referring to "Mur-kins", as in "All my folks was god-fearin' Murkins!" or, if they're being formal, "a-Murkins".)


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Subject: RE: BS: Name for people from USA
From: GUEST,Allan Conn
Date: 26 Aug 13 - 03:04 PM

"They are French" sounds correct to me, grammatically" It does but I only know that being used with French as an adjective rather than a noun. More obvious when you use it in the singular. You hear "he is French" or indeed "she is French" but that is the same use as "he is English". But if you use the word as a noun it doesn't work. You simply wouldn't say "he is a French" or "he is an English" like you would say "he is a German" or "he is a Scot". I don't know why but it just isn't used in that context.


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Subject: RE: BS: Name for people from USA
From: Leadfingers
Date: 26 Aug 13 - 03:36 PM

Despite having VERY good friends over the pond I still (Probably FAR too often) call them the inhabitants of our long lost colonies of the Americas


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Subject: RE: BS: Name for people from USA
From: gnu
Date: 26 Aug 13 - 03:44 PM

T. Ya didn't lose em. Ya still own em. When Beth says "Bomb.", they launch and keep shootin until she tells em to stop. Same fer Canuckistan... until the next election, I hope.


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Subject: RE: BS: Name for people from USA
From: Ebbie
Date: 26 Aug 13 - 03:49 PM

Terry, we ain't lost. :)


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Subject: RE: BS: Name for people from USA
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 26 Aug 13 - 03:50 PM

You might of course say "he is a Frenchman" or "she is a Frenchwoman", but you'd be more likely to say"he is French". (If you say "he is Frenchman" it,d sound as if were making out that you were Russian, because the Russians don't use article like a and the.)

English has all kinds of oddities about what you can say, and also about what you shouldn't say. So you can say "Yorkshireman" or "Lancashireman", but you can't say "Irelandman". And while it's grammatically fine to say "Chinaman" it tends to be seen as disrespectful.


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Subject: RE: BS: Name for people from USA
From: GUEST,Allan Conn
Date: 26 Aug 13 - 04:01 PM

Quite so McGrath. I agree. If talking about footbal I could say there is a German in goal. Or a Scot in goal. Or an American in goal. But it wouldn't sound right to say "there is a French in goal" I'd need to say there is a Frenchman in goal. Or perhaps there is a French goalkeeper. But that is using the word 'French' in a different manner.


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Subject: RE: BS: Name for people from USA
From: GUEST,Allan Conn
Date: 26 Aug 13 - 04:05 PM

"And if the Scots vote for independence it would no longer really be an available term,"

They perhaps would still use it anyway who knows? It means different things to different people anyway. To me if the UK didn't exist we would still be British (ie Scots, English and Welsh) in the sense that we live on the island of Britain. Just like Swedes and Norwegians are both Scandinavians.


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Subject: RE: BS: Name for people from USA
From: GUEST,Allan Conn
Date: 26 Aug 13 - 04:11 PM

"The term Brit means, to me, English, Scots and Welsh with Irish thrown in depending on the discussion and on whether any Irish are within earshot"

As far as that part of Ireland that is part of the UK goes I'd imagine you'd be just as likely, or arguably more likely, to get yourself into hot water if you suggested that they weren't British. I wouldn't fancy going to watch Northern Ireland play football, or go to a pub on the Shankhill, and tell the people "Nah you guys are not British!"

Suicide mission springs to mind!


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Subject: RE: BS: Name for people from USA
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 26 Aug 13 - 05:00 PM

Nobody has yet convinced me that there is one "correct" definition of Britishness. A pragmatic (re)definition would be easy, but given the emotions mentioned by Allan and others, the word seems burnt. Until further notice, you will be punished with the name "UK citizens", whenever a clear-cut notion is required. (As for dominions, Channel Islands, Gibraltar, and whatever other constructs you have devised, stick them up your legalistic arsenal ;).)

When Scotland becomes independent, there will be a chance to rethink the whole notion of nation and national identity altogether. The idea of a cozy little England, ditto Scotland, Wales, etc., and a strong European Parliament (at the expense of the European Commission) may appear more and more attractive.


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Subject: RE: BS: Name for people from USA
From: GUEST
Date: 26 Aug 13 - 06:46 PM

When I lived in the Detroit area, Windsor (Ontario) was a fun destination, and I crossed the border to get there every now & then. When asked my citizenship by the border guards (especially heading INTO Canada), I decided that "US" (rather than "American") was the best answer - since it seems clear to me that USians (the word I use when posting on Mudcat) are not the only "Americans".

Although - if I said "USians" in conversation, the person I was talking to prolly wouldn't know what I meant...


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Subject: RE: BS: Name for people from USA
From: gnu
Date: 26 Aug 13 - 07:07 PM

Allan... indeed. Even far more complicated, obviously, than I have the wherewithall to address. I just try to make silly jokes about it all.


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Subject: RE: BS: Name for people from USA
From: JennieG
Date: 26 Aug 13 - 07:28 PM

During World War II when many American servicemen were stationed in Oz, it was said at the time that they were "overpaid, oversexed and over here"......a term used was "seppo".

Rhyming slang - "seppo" = "septic tank" = "yank".

But that's not kind, so I wouldn't use it these days.


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Subject: RE: BS: Name for people from USA
From: EBarnacle
Date: 26 Aug 13 - 07:41 PM

Back in the 50's I read a science fiction story entitled "Digging the Weans" about an archeological dig done at some indefinite time in the future. The "writer" of the report said that the country was known as the US, the proper collective term for the inhabitants of that part of North America was almost certainly pronounced WE-ans. There is no disputing that Gus is in the East.

PS, the dig was in Manhatten.


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Subject: RE: BS: Name for people from USA
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 26 Aug 13 - 08:31 PM

Citizens of the "United States of America" are properly called "Americans," just as citizns of "Estados Unitas Mexicanos" are properly called "Mexicans."

If one wants to describe a "world part" it is appropriate to distinguish "North Americans," including Americans, Canadians, and Mexicans, from "Central Americans" or "South Americans" (including mostly corrupt politicians and drug smugglers, according to some) with all of these being less ambiguous than many similar "Eastern" regions. Even the quite proper "American Continents" is far too ambiguous to be useful.

In my area, we have most difficulty with the "English," "Brits" the "UKians" and a couple of other things we sometimes call them, all of which have certain ambiguities; so we generally just call them all "greenies" since everyone from "over there" who couldn't get a job there seems to be here on a "green card" and those are the only ones many of us see. (We have difficulty keeping up with whether it's England, Britain, or "the UK." Maybe Urineans (Euroeans?) would be more generic.)

(Opinion remains divided on whether the "greenies" are more or less desirable than others who are "just here" without the card. This dispute is unlikely to be resolved soon.)

[According to Sarc.]

John


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Subject: RE: BS: Name for people from USA
From: ChanteyLass
Date: 26 Aug 13 - 09:08 PM

I've always thought United Statesian would work, but I doubt anyone else would want to use that term!


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Subject: RE: BS: Name for people from USA
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 26 Aug 13 - 09:23 PM

If the Confederate secession had worked, presumably they'd have kept on being called Confederates - but what would the people of the Union be called? I can't see "Americans" as too likely, except as a way of referring to both successor states.


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Subject: RE: BS: Name for people from USA
From: YorkshireYankee
Date: 26 Aug 13 - 09:33 PM

Oops!
GUEST, 26 Aug 13 - 06:46 PM
was me... seem to have lost my cookie.


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Subject: RE: BS: Name for people from USA
From: Janie
Date: 27 Aug 13 - 12:01 AM

In common usage around the world, whether politically or geographically correct or not, it seems that when one uses "Americans" they are using that term to mean citizens of the USA.

As far as my personal preferences, call me anything you like, just don't call me late for supper.


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Subject: RE: BS: Name for people from USA
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 27 Aug 13 - 12:50 AM

I repeat, from above, because it doesn't seem to have been taken on board ~~

Presidents of the United States of America, when formally addressing their countrymen, generally start their speeches with the words

"My fellow Americans"

do they not? Which would surely imply that "Americans" is the correct term, in what might, by an obvious analogy, be called "The President's English"; and appears to be accepted as such by the fellow countrymen thus spoken to in the vocative.

Or has anyone of you thus addressed ever objected to such a form, or heard any of your fellow countrymen do so?

If not, then I would again urge that this demonstrates "Americans" to be both de facto and de jure the correct and accepted usage.

~M~


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Subject: RE: BS: Name for people from USA
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 27 Aug 13 - 12:56 AM

... and anyhow, further to Janie's little esprit about late for supper, let us recall the saying quoted by Evelyn Waugh in Brideshead Revisited --

"It doesn't matter what people call you unless they call you pigeon pie and eat you up."


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Subject: RE: BS: Name for people from USA
From: Joe Offer
Date: 27 Aug 13 - 02:10 AM

Jennie G says: During World War II when many American servicemen were stationed in Oz, it was said at the time that they were "overpaid, oversexed and over here"......a term used was "seppo".

I wonder if U.S. soldiers were overpaid during WWII. I kinda doubt it, but maybe so. Food and lodging are provided, so any pay received by unmarried soldiers, can go for pleasure. But I was a married soldier in Berlin, and my oldest son was born there. We got a pay raise when I was there, and Nixon froze it. So....I certainly didn't feel overpaid.

But hey, the drill sergeant said, "If the Army wanted you to have a wife, it would have issued you one."

That firstborn child just turned 41. I'm glad we had him, despite the cost.

Oh, and back on the subject. I don't get fussy about it. I just call myself an "American," and don't make a big deal of it. The song, "I'm Proud To Be An American," has become a Republican National Anthem. It makes me gag.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Name for people from USA
From: GUEST,Allan Conn
Date: 27 Aug 13 - 02:27 AM

"I wonder if U.S. soldiers were overpaid during WWII. I kinda doubt it, but maybe so"

I always thought the "overpaid, over-sexed and over here" thing was a British saying originally! Who knows but it was certainly known and used here too. I suppose it depends on what is meant by over-paid. I think the idea was that they were over-paid in comparison to the British soldiers. Over-sexed because the British girls had their heads turned by these exotic foreigners coming in.


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Subject: RE: BS: Name for people from USA
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 27 Aug 13 - 02:48 AM

... and by the expensive consumer-goods gifts they brought: silk or nylon stockings, normally unobtainable here; Nestlé & Hershey chocolate bars ...; all of which augmented that impression of 'overpaid' affluence. The poor British troops could only stand by, looking sadly on as their girls were seduced [in all senses] away from them,

~M~


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Subject: RE: BS: Name for people from USA
From: GUEST,Allan Conn
Date: 27 Aug 13 - 03:05 AM

"Nobody has yet convinced me that there is one "correct" definition of Britishness"

It is difficult but I think the only place where you really would have to walk on egg shells a bit with this is parts of Northern Ireland. It can be a serious issue over there. You wouldn't get the really serious anti-British attitudes anywhere in Great Britian that you may get from sections of the nationalist community but neither would you get the overt Britishness that you find in the unionist community either.

Indeed the Institute for Public Policy Research in their last study on the subject found that only around 10% of people in England regarded themselves as principally or only British rather than English. The figures in Scotland tend to be slightly less only about 8% or so regard themsleves as principally or only British. They come to the conclusion that nowhere in Great Britian is there a significant section of the population who's principle identity is British. That though does exist in Northern Ireland. I can understand how it is confusing for people


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Subject: RE: BS: Name for people from USA
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 27 Aug 13 - 08:47 AM

I'd suggest that there are a great many people in Northern Ireland who are strongly in favour of the link with the rest of the UK but who'd see their primary identity as being Ulster. I've even come across such people using the term "Brit" with a degree of hostility in respect of some action by the Representatives of the Westmnster government.

For that matter my impression is that a lot of people in Yorkshire would see their primary identity as being Yorkshire, rather than English, let alone British. And that goes for some other counties.
...........
And MtheGM, I wasn't suggesting that "American" isn't the generally accepted term, both in ordinary usage and even legally. But it's not an exclusive term. There are hundreds of million people in a whole range of countries who are also perfectly entitled to call themselves Americans.


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