Just to note, "Meiriceá = America", or "The New World = an tOileán Úr", which is a (pair of) continent(s) home to 950 million people, speaking mostly Spanish, Portuguese, English, French and Dutch.
"The US = na Stáit Aontaithe", a country of some 303 million people who speak English and Spanish (for the most part).
I'm curious does literally every other country on earth call North America & South America just "America"?
I've seen so many fights about this it's so weird. I've never heard any other American refer to either or both continent(s) as "America", including teachers, yet everyone seems to think that we think that the 2 continents = U.S. vice versa or something...despite that everyone else seem to be the ones doing just that =/
We may call those continents as a whole "the Americas" but that's the closest we'll get to it.
Hi Jillianimal, until about 10 years ago I always called the USA 'America' and any Americans I met said 'The States' or 'The US' (I am British). Then, when teaching a group of Spanish teenagers, I said 'America' and they all looked at each other with knowing smiles and I asked why? It was then that I realised that British people say 'America' (for North America) and 'South America'. I now teach quite a lot of South Americans and am careful with the difference. I think it is an historical colonial thing between the Spanish, The Portuguese and the English.
It is not just a "colonial" thing in Spanish and Portuguese. In normal conversation when we say America we mean the entire western hemisphere. For us when we say American its the equivalent of saying European, it doesn't narrow things down much.
I always say I'm from Mexico. And if I hear someone say America I know they are from the US. Likewise if I hear someone say they are British I know they are from England, because the Scottish and Welsh never say Britain they usually say Scotland or Wales