? asked in Politics & GovernmentPolitics · 9 years ago

Why is the United States of America usually just called the United States?

Wouldn't it make more sense to call it America? It's kind of like calling Canada the United Provinces.

And yes, I know that there are continents called North America and South America. However, those are called North and South America, not just America.

13 Answers

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  • Anonymous
    9 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    United States of America = 9 syllables; United States = 4 syllables.

    Similarly the "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland" (14 syllables) is generally referred to as the "United Kingdom" (5 syllables).

    Both are unambiguous - there are no other countries that refer to themselves as the United States/Kingdom of somewhere-or-other - so it's a reasonable shortcut. (There was once a United Kingdom of the Netherlands which also included present day Belgium, Luxembourg and part of Germany, but that no longer exists as a political entity.)

  • J D
    Lv 4
    9 years ago

    The United States of America is our county's official name. Canada's official name is just plain old 'Canada'. We shorten our name by using the first/last name principle. 'America' works just fine, but it's kind of like calling someone by their last name.

    It isn't really any quicker to say America than it is United States because both phrases are 4 syllables long. I prefer to use USA when abbreviating because US looks too similar to an all caps 'us' for my taste.

    Of course when engaging in formal conversation it is proper to use the full name, The United States of America.

  • 9 years ago

    And what other United States is there?

  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    The United States of America is a bit of a mouth full, and everybody knows what you're talking about anyway.

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  • 9 years ago

    Because we aren't really America. We are the United States, who happen to be in one of the Americas. When we were founded as a country, we were less a single nation than a union of semi-autonomous states. After the Civil War, that changed.

  • 9 years ago

    I don't know of any other country in the world that calls itself United States of something or other. So United States is enough to tell which country you are talking about.

  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    Most people in the world already know where the United States are.

  • Daisy
    Lv 6
    9 years ago

    As my cousin in Canada pointed out to me years ago we are all Americans. You answered your own question America is a continent. The US is a country.

  • Ross
    Lv 4
    9 years ago

    Just faster to say that or America, or US, or USA, or the states. it would be annoying if we called China "the peoples republic of China" all the time wouldn't it

  • beth l
    Lv 7
    9 years ago

    Hmm, I think I usually say America.

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