You have raised a question that I have asked others for years! , i.e., So why do people from the states think they are the only ones who are Americans?
Personally I do not like the term Americano for that very reason but I do not think that we in the U.S. applied that name to ourselves. I think it is what others called us from the beginning and we adopted the name and now it is too widespread to change it. Perhaps it evolved from the fact that officially we are named The United States of America, but you are absolutely right, every citizen of North, Central and South America is tecnically an American. The trouble is that nobody is going to understand when an Ecuadorian identifies himself as American. It would simply lead to confusion and eventually he would have to say he was from Ecuador anyway.
In my early years on the Mexican border I met many people who called themselves Mexican even though they were born in the U.S. I would say "then you're an American, no?" and they would say "yes, but I'm Mexican". The term American did not appeal to them either. Mexican-American maybe, but not just American.
What else can we call ourselves that would not be too cumbersome? As for "United Statians", I like estaunidence! But what then if Mexico objects? They have the right to that name as well since Mexico is actually the United States of Mexico.
Some call us norte americanos but that isn't entirely accurate either because Canada and Mexico and even parts of Central America are in North America (depending on which map you prefer).
I used to say I was a gringo and assumed everybody would know that I was from the USA. Now after learning that it means different things in different countries I will have to change. In a formal introduction I have always said I'm from the United States or soy de los estados unidos. I guess I'll have to stay with that.
Originally Posted by chapinrico