Socialism. - A dirty word?

Why is socialism ( in the sense of a mixed economy, as practised by countries such as Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Germany and in the UK ( regardless of which party is in power )) such a dirty word ( almost akin to communism ) for many Americans?
Update: Sorry MARAK R that you were unable to read the whole posting. Get an education!
Update 2: You seem a bit confused Jay T. I am in Europe (Scotland) and have travelled extensively. Don't see why it's a "funny question"
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