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This Article Gives the Impression the Americas have no Indigenous Character[edit]

One would think by reading this article that the Indigenous people left no trace on Latin American or other cultures in the Americas. If this were true, then it would make for a very neat narrative - Europeans "largely replace" the indigenous peoples, and we have a transplanted Europe -voila! But, it's just not true. Only about 700,000 Spaniards left Spain during the whole 300 year colonial period for the American colonies. Miscegenation was the rule both genetically and culturally. We see this in food, music, customs, folk beliefs, dress etc, even in the influence on the Spanish and other Indo-European languages spoken here in the Americas. There are even still many people who speak the indigenous languages as first languages, like Quechua, Mayan, Nahuatl etc. The concept of "Mestizaje" or "Mestizo-ness" is at the heart of most of the Latin American countries. I happen to know that Mexico defines their country in its constitution as the evolution and change of its local Aboriginal tribes over time. The USA officially recognizes in an act of congress that their system of government is partly based on the Iroquoian Great Law. I don't know how to word these facts about cultural and genetic mixing best to introduce them into this article, but it really must be done. Even the term "Latin America" entails a double identity - both "Latin" (i.e. "Iberian") and "American" (i.e. "Indigenous.")Kozushi (talk) 02:03, 30 October 2013 (UTC)

The Ethnology section could definitely use an overhaul. Do you want to take a stab at it? Fitnr (talk) 21:05, 30 October 2013 (UTC)
User:Kozushi already tried to add such material, but as it was uncited, and dubious in most places, I reverted his changes. Especially dubious is his clam about the meaning of "Latin America", which is not even hinted at in Latin America#Etymology and definitions. In addition, African influence is far stronger in some countries, particularly in the United States and the Caribbean, which his/her additions completely ignored. - BilCat (talk) 5:25 pm, Yesterday (UTC−4)
I added a few words on that, but if s.t. is fixed half-way, the solution is to fix it the rest of the way, not to undo what was fixed. — kwami (talk) 01:54, 31 October 2013 (UTC)

Well, if you read this same article in Spanish, you'll find exactly the things I am talking about. The Spanish page is actually very precise about which countries have more indigenous character than others. I read Spanish, French and Korean which is a big help sometimes in getting ideas for English-language pages. If the Spanish page for this topic emphasizes the Aboriginal character of the Americas, and in particularly for Latin America, then it's probably not out of place for the English page to do likewise. You realize that Mexico was declared "Mestizo" long ago - let alone Peru where most people still speak Quechua (Incan.) Pablo Neruda, the Argentinian poet lauds his "Araucanian" (native) ancestors. You simply cannot explain away the Aboriginal character of these continents. Well said about the Caribbean and the USA - this should be included also. The Aboriginal contribution is still very important to both though. National Geographic did a nice article a few years back about Aboriginal culture and DNA in Cuba - the conclusion is that there is lots of it there. Anyhow - I'm just registering my gentle protest to this aspect of the article, which is here at least on the "talk" page, and perhaps someone with more expertise in this area could gently help the reader understand such things as why Mexicans are still eating tamales and tacos so long after the Spanish conquest, and their flag has a bird on a cactus - not a scene from Don Quixote.Kozushi (talk) 01:05, 31 October 2013 (UTC) I should add that one of the two national sports of Canada is Lacrosse, which is the "sacred ball game" of the Iroquoians and Algonquins. Ask yourself too, how can "Hispanic" indicate a "visible minority" if they are virtually 100% of pure Iberian descent? I was in Houston this spring, and I guarantee you the people there sure were not of "Iberian" descent! Precious few! The Amerindian genotype is very strong in the Americas. Even in my case, I live 20 minutes from a big Indian Reserve, and that community is often in the news, and is very well known, indeed it's legendary. A number of my professors at university were Aboriginal. The Spanish teacher at the local high school identifies herself ethnically as "Aztec." I'm just not seeing this "wipeout" theory regarding the aboriginals as holding any water. Even in Britain, are the "aboriginal" Welsh all gone? Here in the Americas the legacy is clear.Kozushi (talk) 01:37, 31 October 2013 (UTC)

While indigenous influence and populations certainly exists, matters and belong in the article, you're argument is somewhat flawed nevertheless. European influence in "Latin America" by no means is only derived by the supposed 700.000 Spaniards. Latin America has seen large immigrations from all of Europe, Africa and Asia and that has created a melting pot similar to North America and (fully) indigenous people being in the minority in most regions/countries (Bolivia being the most notable exception).--Kmhkmh (talk) 20:55, 13 November 2013 (UTC)
The most accurate answer is: It simply depends on the region. The Amerindian influence in many Latin American countries (in Paraguay, Guaraní is even co-official with Spanish!) is certainly strong. In Argentina and Brazil, it very much depends on the region. It is certainly misleading to create the impression that the European influence is overwhelming everywhere. It's much more appropriate, as Kozushi has done, to speak of a "double identity", of a mixed or hybrid nature of the double continent. (In fact, there are even three components – Amerindian, European and African – at play in several regions.) I also agree that this fact is still often played down and that this is wrong. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 00:08, 15 December 2013 (UTC)
I see you're talking about fully indigenous people here, Kmhkmh. You're knocking down a strawman here because Kozushi emphasised the aspect of mixing himself. He never talked about pureness at all. His use of the terms "influence", "contribution", "legacy", "presence of genotype and DNA" all implies mixing, and your emphasis on the "melting pot" aspect does not contradict his point at all. The indigenous/aboriginal people are still strongly present, including the mestizos. To exclude mestizos in this context is like saying you don't count as black anymore if your ancestors are mixed – that would be patently ridiculous. It would be a one-drop rule in reverse. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 00:20, 15 December 2013 (UTC)


A demonym is a name for a resident of a locality. See Demonym. Demnonyms can be the same as the adjective, but they ain't always Britons are British people, Scots are Scottish people, etc. Apart from which, we shouldn't use the infobox to mislead people where we can avoid it, recall WP:UNDUE. WilyD 10:58, 14 November 2013 (UTC)

I'm not familiar w the info box. Isn't that line used for both? In any case, that is the demonym. It may be uncommon, but it is used. I'm fine with tagging it with (uncommon) or s.t. — kwami (talk) 13:25, 14 November 2013 (UTC)
The infobox template doesn't have a slot for the adjective form. But demonym means what it means; if it's being misused elsewhere, it doesn't mean we should misuse it elsewhere, but fix it here. I don't think the entry is necessary at all - we already devote far too much of this article to etymology instead of flora/fauna/geography/politics/etc, so a reader interested in the question isn't going to fail to find what they're looking for. I would accept a dual listing of "North and South American" and "American" with a note about seeing usage - that's probably the best we could do to represent the situation in the limited space of an infobox. WilyD 09:08, 15 November 2013 (UTC)
But that isn't a demonym: No-one says "he's a North and South American". The demonym, the only demonym AFAIK, is "American". — kwami (talk) 11:09, 15 November 2013 (UTC)
Well, no, but nobody says "American" in that way either; they say "He's North American" or "She's South American". Only when you have a group do you use that form (and then it's not hard to find examples of usage, but I haven't figured out where to find an explicit discussion of the term). If I were in a group with a Bolivian and a Peruvian, say, I wouldn't say "We're Americans" - I'd say "We're North and South Americans" if I wanted to group us as being from the New World, right? It only exists as a plural, but North America and South America are only lumped together when there's a plural. WilyD 14:49, 15 November 2013 (UTC)
But that's you, and this isn't your user page. The demonym, noun and adjetive for America(s) is "American".
"North American" and "South American" are demonyms of North America and South America, not America(s) as a whole.
We don't refer to the "Organization of American States" as "Organization of North and South American States".
Read a dictionary, please.-- (talk) 21:48, 15 November 2013 (UTC)
There's no need to resort to personal attacks merely because I speak English. The usual term for residents of the Americas is "North and South Americans", but of course, that's going back to adjectives, not demonyms. "Pan-American" is the usual adjective for the Americans (as in, say, Pan-American Games), but "American" is occasionally used by people who favour imperialism and colonialism, though that kind of politics is not so popular today. What's your point? WilyD 22:35, 15 November 2013 (UTC)
Where does that come from? It was actually the opposite: The reason the word "American" took off for the US was that countries like Brazil were not using it, and the reasons they didn't use it were imperialism and colonialism. We shouldn't try to make this into a shibboleth of your personal politics, but should merely reflect the facts as attested in RS's. The fact is that "American" is the demonym for "America" in all senses of the word, including this one. "North and South American" is not an actual demonym, but a paraphrase to avoid ambiguity with US American. If we include it here, then we should add "US American" to the USA article. (Which of course would be silly.) — kwami (talk) 02:40, 16 November 2013 (UTC)
Well, that ignores the point expounded at WP:UNDUE - The amount of weighting that's given to a source connotates how significant/important/common something is. "Americans" is a demonym occasionally used for the residents of the Americas, "North and South Americans" is a demonym commonly used for residents of the Americas. "US Americans" is basically unused, so it doesn't really belong in an article on the United States, because giving it such undue prominence is a tacit endorsement of it, in violation of NPOV. It would belong in other contexts, such as Names for United States citizens. With regards to the Americas, one can find a lot in a dictionary New Worlder, New Worldling (although it's marked as now rate). Although I don't like either, they're certainly backed by reliable sources. Similarly, the Cambridge English Dictionary lists American mean "of the Americas" as an adjective, but not as a noun. I don't see how you can claim "North and South American" is not an "actual" demonym - it's name used for residents of the Americas. It sounds weird to anglophone ears for the obvious reason: English doesn't really have a word for residents of the Americas. Although I'm not sure I've ever encountered it in conversation, dictionaries list pan-American as the adjective, and searching around for sources you do find people using it as a noun (e.g.), presumably for the same reason. WilyD 10:16, 18 November 2013 (UTC)
WP:UNDUE: "fairly represents all significant viewpoints that have been published by reliable sources". Given that you've yet to produce a single source that says "North and South American" is the demonym for a person from the Americas, it is obviously undue to give your personal opinion any weight. Anyone can make up a new demonym ("Anglo and Latin American" has a nice ring to it). Also, this article is about the Americas as a whole, not North America and South America. North American and South American are no more demonyms for people from the Americas as a whole than are Mexican, Texan or Paulistano. Demonyms for a person from a subregion are by definition not demonyms for a person from the place as a whole.
Finally, your point about the Cambridge dictionary is misleading. The American English definition is: "(a person) of or coming from the United States, or of or coming from North America or South America". We can have a discussion about whether "American" is frequently used for people from the Americas, and how that should be explained in the infobox, but we can't just make up alternatives. TDL (talk) 19:38, 18 November 2013 (UTC)
C'mon, the assertion that I made up "North and South American" is so silly as to be laughable. Determining commonness of a demonym from reliable sources is still an open question, as far as I can see, all we have are sources saying "American" is not common, and "New Worldling" is mostly historical. By reliable sources, that would strictly speaking leave "New Worlder" as the best candidate for a single demonym. I don't particularly advocate that position. I think the best thing to do is to send readers straight to the more nuanced discussion, rather than mislead them with the limited space of the infobox. WilyD 10:51, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
Um, did you even bother to look at those google hits? Not one of them is using the phrase as a demonym. If you look at my comments more closely you'll see that I never suggested that you made up the phrase, rather that you made up that it is a demonym. ("Eastern and Western European" returns millions of hits, but that doesn't make it the demonym for people from Europe.) Given that you can't produce a single source to support your assertion, my point stands. What is laughable is to suggest that anyone would call a Brazilian and a Chilean "North and South Americans". They're either "South Americans", "Americans" or "Earthlings". Also, please look up the definition of the New World. It includes more than just the Americas so your alternatives are completely irrelevant to this discussion.
I've removed "North and South Americans" again as per WP:BRD. Please don't restore it until there is a consensus for this controversial change. TDL (talk) 16:59, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
I should ask you the same question: What's your point?
American is the demonym for America, in all senses of the word, like kwami has said, full stop.-- (talk) 09:33, 16 November 2013 (UTC)
Yes, Americans come from America, and North and South Americans come from the Americas. That's the usual English usage - in the limited space of an infobox, we shouldn't be misleading readers otherwise, but merely telling them it's a complex problem that can't be distilled to a single word, and they're going to have to have to read a whole paragraph of discussion (or more) to learn something that isn't wrong. WilyD 10:19, 18 November 2013 (UTC)
If you trying to say that "America" means de United States then you are wrong because there isn't an official source or something that say that it is an official name of the United States, like saying "Mexico".-- (talk) 21:20, 21 November 2013 (UTC)
Huh? American means The United States of America just like Mexico means The United States of Mexico. It's a very clean parallel. WilyD 08:57, 22 November 2013 (UTC)
"America" can mean a country in one context, and a continent/pair of continents in another. It can also refer to towns, cities or even an actress or two. This is like the word "chile" can mean a country, a pepper, a dip, or a sauce. You don't see a bunch a cooks and gardeners running around shouting, "Chile is a pepper, not a country!" Why? Because they're smart enough to realize words can have more than one meaning, depending on the context, especially in different languages. Now, I think IP user from Chile is smart enough to know all that, but chooses to ignore it for some reason. Unless he/she really is that stupid, or really does live in a pepper! :) - BilCat (talk) 09:28, 22 November 2013 (UTC)
  • "America" is ambiguous, but "American" is not. American means "of the USA". Canadians are very quick to deny being American when asked or accused. I'm pretty sure this is true for all people and things of the New World outside the USA. South Americans are quick to specify a national identity, not a continental identity. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 11:55, 18 November 2013 (UTC)
  • It's more complicated than that even, since "American" is at least two words - the adjective and the noun. The noun is pretty unambiguous - "Katie is an American" means "Katie is from the United States", but "That is an American black bear" may mean either "That is a black bear from the United States" or "That is a black bear from the Americas". While the latter usage is rarely found when talking about humans, it's pretty rife in other bio-geographical contexts, which is why it's cropping up here as a demonym (despite not being applied to humans). WilyD 13:23, 18 November 2013 (UTC)
While technically that article is English, I don't think I'm going out on a limb by saying it wasn't written by a native speaker.LedRush (talk) 18:37, 18 November 2013 (UTC)
In "Katie is an American", American is an adjective to an implied noun. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 20:31, 18 November 2013 (UTC)
The Cambridge Dictionary of English draws a distinction between the two, noting that as an adjective, American may mean either "Of the United States" or "Of the Americas", but that as a noun, it only means "A resident or citizen of the United States". It's not an implied noun, it just is a noun. "Katie is an American" - means "Katie is a citizen or resident of the United States." American Avocet might be referring to the continents. WilyD 20:54, 18 November 2013 (UTC)
The distinction I think is important is between formal and informal English. Informally, American is often treated as a noun. In formal English, it is "Katie is an American [person]" (square brackets denoting the dropped but implied word). Funny thing is that in mainspace we prefer formal English, but we support readers informal English usage, especially through redirects and DAB pages. Actually, I was under the misapprehension that american went to the same place as Americans. While American Avocet is a proper name and non-illustrative, I guess non-human use of American is ambiguous. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 21:26, 18 November 2013 (UTC)
The distinction is usually subtle because the noun and adjective are the same - "I am Canadian" vs. "I am a Canadian". But some cases retain the obvious split all the time "I am British" vs. "I am a Briton", "I am Scottish" vs. "I am a Scot". Similarly, you can't say "I am a Dutch" or "I am a French". If the usual construction included an implicit [person], "I am a Dutch" would be as natural as "I am a Dutch person". But it ain't. Even in informal English, you wouldn't say "I am a Dutch". WilyD 08:05, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
That makes sense. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 08:46, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
Yeah, but it leaves us in a really muddy situation, where "American" is listed as the demonym, attributed to a source that says "Now chiefly used to mean a resident of the United States". We can also source "New Worlder" as a demonym, though it's not any commoner than "American". This is why I think the best solution is to admit that it's a complicated/dicey issue, and send people directly to the reams of discussion we have on the issue, rather than mislead them in the limited space of an infobox. WilyD 10:28, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
This entire discussion is based on the false premise that "American" as a noun doesn't mean "inhabitants of the Americas". That's wrong. As pointed out above, the American English definition from the Cambridge Dictionary of English does not draw a distinction, giving both the noun and adjective definition as "(a person) of or coming from the United States, or of or coming from North America or South America". Obviously if this is an WP:ENGVAR issue than WP:TIES demands that American English take precedence over British English. As far as I can tell, virtually every major dictionary defines American to be a noun for people from the Americas:
We can't just ignore what sources say on the matter. Just because a word has more than one meaning, doesn't mean other uses are incorrect. TDL (talk) 16:59, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
Well, if we can't ignore what sources say, try reading the source actually being used, which says that American "chiefly" means "of or related to the United States". It also gives "New Worlder" and "New Worldling" as alternatives. Merriam-Webster gives two examples of usage, both are unambiguously about Americans, not New Worlders, as does Collins. The infobox isn't the place to get into terminology (which takes up more than one article), because it's too complicated. It's better to send the reader to a discussion than deliberately mislead them. WilyD 17:31, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
Rather than WP:ABF, it would be far more helpful if you could focus on the subject. Personalizing disputes rarely helps. Rest assured that I have no intention of misleading anyone, deliberate or otherwise. On the contrary, I object to the nonsense you keep inserting to the infobox precisely because we should not be misleading readers. Made up and geographically illiterate demonyms are extremely misleading, hence why I have removed them.
Yes, the word has more than one meaning, we all understand that. In fact, that's a quite common feature of nearly every word of the English language and does not make other definitions any less valid. For example, Kiwi "chiefly" means a bird. None of this changes that "American" is a correct demonym for people from the Americas, as supported by every major dictionary. Also, you must have missed my point above about the New World and The Americas. They are not coextensive, so it is erroneous to claim that a demonym for one is a demonym for the other. TDL (talk) 08:12, 21 November 2013 (UTC)
It's quite rich for someone who suggested I "made up" North and South American to accuse me of assuming bad faith. The Oxford English Dictionary says "New Worlder" and "New Worldling" are demonyms of the residents of the Americas (and indeed, in practice "New Worlder" is used about as often as "American" as a term for a resident of the western hemisphere). That you feel it's incorrect is neither here nor there. I feel that the colonialist/racist mindset behind using "American" as a demonym for residents of the western hemisphere is archaic, but that's neither here nor there either. What would be best is to admit that there isn't really a commonly used and agreed upon demonym, and send readers to the usage section. In the absence of a consensus for that, noting several options that are used, then sending the reader to a discussion, is the option most compliant with Wikipedia:Neutral Point of View. WilyD 08:55, 21 November 2013 (UTC)
New Worlder? that is like "United Stater" or something like that. Do you have sourceS? (more than 1). In any case, a "New Worlder" (lol at that name) can be someone or something from Australia/Oceania too. Really I don't understand what's the problem with "American" being the demonym from the Americas when this is a fact.-- (talk) 21:22, 21 November 2013 (UTC)
You're right that it's only appropriate to the extent that "America" and "New World" are synonyms, but it's not entirely unheard of. Melville in Clare! (1876): Oh, that a New Worlder should talk so! The OED defines "New-Worlder, New-Worlding, a native or inhabitant of the western hemisphere". — kwami (talk) 00:50, 22 November 2013 (UTC)
Have you read the sources you're citing WilyD? The Oxford English dictionary does not say that ""New Worlder" and "New Worldling" are demonyms of the residents of the Americas". In fact, the word "America" is never mentioned in either entry:
If you think they're demonyms for residents of the Americas, you need to provide a source to support this claim. Mistakenly conflating the definitions of the "Americas", the "New World" and the "western hemisphere" is not a sufficient justification for using a geographically erroneous term in the infobox. Please stop adding the unsourced and incorrect "New Worlder" until there's a consensus to do so on the talk page.
I understand that you have strong feelings against the usage of "Americans", however your opinions are not supported by sources. See for example:
AP Stylebook: "American - An acceptable description for a resident of the United States. It also may be applied to any resident or citizen of nations in North or South America."
The New York Times Manual of Style and Usage: "America - The terms America, American(s) and Americas refer not only to the United States but to all of North America and South America."
Only WP:Verifiable content can be included in the encyclopedia, not unsourced, personal opinions.
And no, suggesting that content which you've added is WP:original research (aka "made up") is not ABF because I've made no presumptions about your motives. I have no doubt that you're acting in good faith and believe that your edits are improving the article. You, on the other hand, are implying that those who don't agree with you are attempting to "deliberately mislead" readers, ie that it's some sort of evil scheme to lie to readers, and worse that they are motivated by a "racist mindset". Please stop making such personal attacks. TDL (talk) 03:14, 22 November 2013 (UTC)
The OED is explicitly clear that "the New World" is "the Americas" - (well, they say "the continents of America" - colonialist mindset showing - but the meaning is clear). You assertion that the Oxford English Dictionary isn't a reliable and verifiable source of English language usage is simply not credible - especially when the other demonym is also sourced to the OED. WilyD 08:49, 22 November 2013 (UTC)
I still have no idea what you mean by "colonialist mindset". Do the names "Europe", "Asia", "Africa", and "Australia" also betray a colonialist mindset? — kwami (talk) 10:22, 22 November 2013 (UTC)
It's usage here (or at least, in the few instances I've encountered it among Brits) is a throwback to the age of British North America, Spanish America, etc - a land without it's own character/"legitimate" inhabitants/etc - properly owned and divided among Europeans. This is probably not sourcable (and frankly, this article is already coatracky in the amount of space devoted to the name/naming/terminology/etc. A good article would probably have only 2-3 sentences, and move on to history/geography/culture/politics/biosphere - even if good sources are available, that kind of in article discussion belongs at American (word) and/or it's daughter articles - possibly daughters of neo-colonialism or Monroe Doctrine or whatnot. It was just an aside. The point is only that the OED is perfectly clear on what New Worlder means. WilyD 10:39, 22 November 2013 (UTC)
Sigh, that all you have is straw man arguments is quite indicative of the strength of your argument. Of course the OED is a reliable source. To suggest that I claimed otherwise is quite laughable. But one has to read what it actually says, and not WP:CHERRY pick the bits one likes and ignore the bits one doesn't like. The definition is "A continent or country discovered or colonized at a comparatively late period; esp. the Western hemisphere or the continents of America as distinguished from the Old World." Yes "the Americas" are part of the New World. But as the OED makes clear, the New World encompasses more than just "the Americas". Just like "Eurasia" encompasses more than just Europe. Do you think eurasian is a demonym for Europe? Of course not. TDL (talk) 19:27, 22 November 2013 (UTC)
No, it makes it clear it can occasionally be used for other purposes - not a good reason to not include it alongside American being used to mean inhabitant of the Americas. As does one of the other three dictionary definitions I listed - but the other use is so rare two of them didn't bother to mention it at all. WilyD 18:24, 23 November 2013 (UTC)

(Third opinion): Just get rid of the bloody demonym, please. It is very rarely used anyway, and due to ambiguity, a workaround such as "inhabitants of Americas" is mostly used as an alternative. We certainly do not have to have every infobox field filled in. Recommended reading: User:Future Perfect at Sunrise (left panel). No such user (talk) 11:23, 22 November 2013 (UTC)

The name "The Americas"[edit]

Where does this name originate and who labeled the continent that way? Historically all I can find is the continents name is America. In the article there is no reference that explains when did this change happens and how. (talk) 15:33, 15 November 2013 (UTC)ggcc

It's called "The Americas" because North America and South America are considered two separate continents in the 7-continent model used in many countries, including most English-speaking countries. You are already aware of the 7-continent model. - BilCat (talk) 19:16, 15 November 2013 (UTC)

The change never happened, the actual name of the continent is AMERICA as it has always been since 1507, only a few countries use the 7 continents model, most accept 6 including the olympic cometee, in every other country in America they refer to one single continent and never as 2 seperate continents. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:04, 8 March 2014 (UTC)

Maybe, but we use the most common name in English. Dougweller (talk) 06:43, 8 March 2014 (UTC)

Actually, I am with in that the entire Western Hemisphere was initally called America, and only America. It was considerably much later after the landing of Columbus (and much later than 1507) that the two land masses started to be known as N. America and S. America. I apprecaited the other anonymous IP's comments ('s) as I feel they are made in good faith but fact is that today, vistually all modern maps qualify the 2 land masses as North Am and South Am. (meaning that even if "the change never happened" the article should probably address the issues on conventions by the International Olympic Committee, the UPU, the United Nations (?), etc. I have not perused this article in enough detail yet and will take's word for it in that the article doesn't mention the change name (to be more precise the qualifying into "North" and "South"). It would be worthwhile to state when (and why?) cartographers (or politicians? or the European monarchs? or others?) made the "change", which probably was more transitional than abrupt. The "most common name in English" claim applies to WP:TITLEs, and is asking specifically about "The Americas", not about "America" and not even about "the Americas". (I don't want to get into the never ending argument that the two are or are not the same; I am simply stating that's question should be addressed in the strictest sense of the question asked to avoid making miscalculations.) Mercy11 (talk) 00:00, 9 March 2014 (UTC)

"The Americas" is the same this as "the Americas". It just depends on where in a sentence it's used. As to the history of the transition, some of that is covered in other articles such as American (word). I'd be interested in knowing more details about when and why the Spanish took 200 years to stop calling the continent "Colombia", and why the IPs from Latin America think the continent has been called "America" in Spanish since 1507, when it hasn't. :) - BilCat (talk) 00:25, 9 March 2014 (UTC)
As I said, I am not interested in the long-winded "they are the same" disputes that pit US vs. latin america editors and for which this page is notorious. I was addressing the anonymous ip's comments on adding more detail. I don't care if the ip came from latin america, washington dc, or from mars. I was addressing its concern for info, and information is why encyclopedias exist. The question has nothing to do with nationalities. Mercy11 (talk) 11:34, 9 March 2014 (UTC)
I did link to an article that has some history on the use of American, and by extension America. I had hoped you would take a look at that page and see if there are any sources there that could actually help to answer the IPs question, and possibly be incorporated into the article. WP isn't just an encyclopedia, but a collaborative effort. If you want someone else to do all the work and post the answers here, there's noting wrong with that. But please don't act like I wasn't trying to help you to address you points simply because I chose to make some other points too. - BilCat (talk) 13:08, 9 March 2014 (UTC)

The original question is one that is better addressed in other articles. This one focuses on the landmass, wheras others describe terminology (and the history of terminology) as well as the 6/7 continent model. These debates about terminology do crop up here fairly frequently, but it isn't a question of "US vs. Latin America" editors. It's driven by common usage by native English speakers in general, not just Americans. I just don't understand why people get so offended by this issue which is really a minor, technical one. Lord Cornwallis (talk) 02:29, 10 March 2014 (UTC)

It angries up the blood not because of the syntax issue, which is very minor, but because the usage reflects very strongly divergent political opinions. I'm sceptical that there's really more than a handful of Latin Americans who really insist on the single continent usage, because Spanish/Portuguese dictionaries are always warning you away from it (which they wouldn't do unless it was widespread), the Olympic Committee is always picked as the example of someone who says there are five continents (presumably, because nothing else even vaguely resembling an authority does so - otherwise, why the hell would everyone pick the olympic committee as the world's foremost authority on geography?), and because whereever you can determine if the claimed usage is true or not, it's not (e.g., you used to find claims here that Canadians object to calling Americans Americans, until that was soundly mocked away. Or that French speakers hold the same biases, but again, easily mocked away). But on the other hand, I suspect the other side is going to be dominated by Canadians (especially Anglos), because our cultural identity includes an extremely heavy dose of what distinguishes Canadians from Americans. Thus, to call a Canadian an American is not just a misuse of the word, but a negation/denial of their entire cultural identity. So, the gloves come off. And so you'll find that people without skin in the game are far more cavalier (certainly Brits are).
Beyond which, if you want to see that it's not an English grammar issue, check the talk page of the French wikipedia page, which has the same persistent requests (albeit at a much lower level, since very few people who want to treat the Americas as a single continent can speak French). WilyD 10:20, 10 March 2014 (UTC)
I'd still say it is a minor issue blown out of proportion due to cultural misunderstandings. Latin Americans believe that the two continent model and Eng-lang terminology is some sort of slight against them by the inhabitants of the U.S, or worse a statement of imperialistic hegemony over the whole landmass. In turn, some Canadians and Jamaicans (etc.) treat the Latin American concept of a single continent and its "American" inhabitants as implying that they are culturally or nationally synonymous with the US. Paradoxically, both these complaints arise from a basic resentment of supposed US attitudes which don't really exist (or at the very least, don't have any bearing on the naming of this article). I don't think any other country is so aware of the differences between Americans/Canadians as Americans are.
As for the fairly regular WP:TRUTH posts here stating that "America is one continent" and so on, it might be worth adding a hatnote to this talk page explaining that majority usage needs to be demonstrated using reliable sources. New posts on the topic could just be referred to that before engaging in lengthy discussions. Lord Cornwallis (talk) 17:35, 10 March 2014 (UTC)
The six continent model counts Europe and Asia as one continent, Eurasia, with North and South America considered separate continents. Dougweller (talk) 18:39, 10 March 2014 (UTC)
That's the other six-continent model, as give at Continent. - BilCat (talk) 18:50, 10 March 2014 (UTC)
We could write an FAQ if you're keen, but I think it's unlikely to change the volume of soapboxing. If you have time and effort, better to rework the demographics into cited prose, flesh out ecology, climate, maybe add some ecomony - there's much to do. WilyD 10:16, 12 March 2014 (UTC)


The problem here is that although Phoenicians may have voyaged to Brazil (or whereever else), this isn't a widely accepted position like the presence of Vikings in Newfoundland, but even the sources used admit it's a minority position (compare 1421, Polynesians in Peru, Vikings in Minnesota, etc.) The first source [1], whose credibility is uncertain (the author says they got their facts from Wikipedia and some blogs) is "Phoenicians discovered Brazil before Cabral?" and continues the "some people claim this" tone through-out. The first reference on the Inga stone mentions nothing of Phoenicians at all, and the second reference mentions the idea, but dismisses it as racist hogwash predicated only on the idea that First Nations are too primitive to have built such a thing themselves.

I will say, the mention of Leif in the intro may be too specific. I dunno. When I wrote it, it seemed like a nice way to seque from settlement by First Nations and Inuit into Post-Colombian settlement by other Old Worlders. Perhaps this was a mistake? WilyD 17:06, 30 December 2013 (UTC)

We've got Pre-Columbian trans-oceanic contact for things like this. We certainly don't state any of them as though they actually happened. Dougweller (talk) 17:35, 30 December 2013 (UTC)

Hi Doug,

I can include tons of trustable and reliable sources. That's not a problem. The case if, I don' agree to remove king Hiram and keep Leif Ericsson. There's no way for native americans engrave those stones. And there are may other facts regarding languages, there are lots of indian word with semitic origin. Solimões river, is a corrupted word for Solomon. There's the marajoara civilization with an asiatic style of pottery and ceramic. Many evidences.

I will not include any other posts here, but, if you remove the things about king Hiram, so, makes sense to remove about Leif Ericsson.

And please, note that I included academic articles as well, if something is not reliable, please feel free to remove. But respect the reliable ones..

Thanks for the inputs. DavidSzilagyi (talk) 18:17, 30 December 2013 (UTC) DavidSzilagyi

Oher point, regarding Gávea Stone, Tutóia, Pedra do ingá, Sete Cidades, Cidade dos Deuses, Marajoara Island, phoenician, semitic presence in indian languages, a phoenician graveyard found in Rio de Janeiro, well, those articles and books regarding most part of these studies are written in portuguese. I understand your difficulties and consequently acceptance because of the languages. That's fine I understand this. Nevermind, forget it.DavidSzilagyi (talk) 18:40, 30 December 2013 (UTC)DavidSzilagyi

Just an observation, but if there are in fact high-quality sources available in Portuguese, it seems a little odd that there is no mention in the Portuguese-language Wikipedia articles that one might expect to see some mention: pt:América, pt:História da colonização das Américas, pt:Povoamento da América, or pt:Arqueologia da América. olderwiser 19:02, 30 December 2013 (UTC)
Agreed. And I'm not at all sure that the more reliable sources back this. Eg [2] and the pdf [3] is used for "There are several engraved stones providing evidence of this, the most famous is called Pedra do Ingá" although I don't see those as making the claim. The pdf[4] is weird, it boldly makes the claim "o Rio Solimões (corruptela de Salomão) which makes me lose faith in the author immediately - our Portuguese article on this river says "The Solimões River gets its name due to people who inhabited its shores and were described by the early chroniclers Spanish and Portuguese in the sixteenth century . Along its banks, among the current municipalities of TNL and Anamã , there were tribes of Yurimaguas 1 . These same people had multiple variations over the centuries and each appointed chronicler them differently as Joriman 2 , Sorimões 3 and Sorimão 4 . The derivations of Sorimão, Sorimões and Solimões comes from the word Solimum the Latin , in reference to the poison used on the tips of arrows and darts of those people 5 for being one of the most warlike societies Solimões River 6 , had highlighted the tips of his poisoned arrows, giving rise to the name of the river" Dougweller (talk) 19:20, 30 December 2013 (UTC)

The problem is, you expect the users do all the hardwork. I will not do, and many others will not. Second thing, don't expect people doing your work here, we do some suggestions and this is not accepted, because you can't read portuguese. So it's not odd, your vision is wrong because you don't speak portuguese and you didnt read all the references I sent. I asked about it, and you don't give me the answer. Third, I will not review any other articles from other people, I'm not responsible for that and you don't seem to care about it as well. And you are a wikipedia guy. So, why should I care? Fourth, the translation of articles between languages are missing and incomplete. Fifth, I'm not being paid to review and complete, I started something here, but you don't incentivate, don't help, in fact is the opposite.

About Solimões river you gave all the explanations, less the one about semitic origin. Why? You are able to refuse theories, but to reinforce your position, are you ignoring the others origins of this name? Come on....

A challenge foy you guys, instead of saying what's wrong, why don't you say what's right? Let the wikipedia guys work, right?

I'd like to have a job like these, just critics... (talk) 20:48, 30 December 2013 (UTC)DavidSzilagyi

Don't be silly. You are making the claim, so it's up to you to prove it. No reputable source that I know of believes the Phoenicians colonized America. — kwami (talk) 21:09, 30 December 2013 (UTC)

Kwami, really? Silly?

I don't claim nothing the facts are there, don't be lazy, find and read it. And if you can't read portuguese don't state this is false. I will not do the job of somebody else. Never. I did it once, and just received crtics, made questions with no answers back, and a quick and lazy review. Dirty game.

I NEVER stated "phoenicians colonized america" like you said. Don't put words in my mouth. Fyi The review I said the settlement vanished were deleted.

Other thing, Bkonrad, portuguese source is different of brazilian source. Never read something with this kind of non sense. It's the same thing to say Rolling Stones is my preferred american band.

This is the level of the wikipedia review.

DavidSzilagyi (talk) 22:34, 30 December 2013 (UTC)DavidSzilagyi

Since it is obvious that English is not your native language, perhaps you might have better luck incorporating the supposed facts that you claim to be WP:TRUTH into a relevant article in the Portuguese Wikipedia. If the claims are reviewed by those both fluent in Portuguese and conversant with the subject matter and hold up there, there might perhaps be something more to build on here. But as it is, your arguments are rather unconvincing. olderwiser 00:05, 31 December 2013 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────If he is Brazilian, which I think he is, we have a problem. This is more or less gospel for many Brazilians. Eg:

"Nowadays the most famous place in the Phoenician cartography in Brazil is the Pedra da Gavea, in Rio de Janeiro, where there is a supposed Phoenician inscription. Most probably fake or false, the writing is mysterious enough to bring many curious people, especially tourists, to the place, a very scenic spot. The myth of Phoenician origins is a living force in Brazil, and there is little space for scientific contradiction. A whole literature on the topic grows at its own pace, and it does not matter if the supposed Phoenician inscriptions have been demonstrated to be the remains of Masonic dramatizations or just natural rock formations. The same happens in the cases in Piaui and Paraiba (north-north-eastern states of Brazil), where the signature of the Austrian ancient historian Ludwig Schwennhagen provided the necessary support to confirm that there were ruins of Phoenician cities, in a place later called Sete Cidades, a National Park in Piaui which is much visited." [5] Rethinking the Mediterranean' Wendell V. Harris, Oxford University Press. So we have Pedra da Gávea and worse, Ingá Stone. Dougweller (talk) 15:31, 1 January 2014 (UTC)

Fascinating. Our article on the theory could use some expansion. CMD (talk) 14:07, 2 January 2014 (UTC)

AmericaS is a joke[edit]

From Britannica:

World map of Waldseemüller (Germany, 1507), which first used the name America (in the lower-left section, over South America)[1]

(…) The name America is derived from that of the Italian merchant and navigator Amerigo Vespucci, one of the earliest European explorers to visit the New World. Although at first the term America was applied only to the southern half of the continent, the designation soon was applied to the entire landmass; (…)

From Wikipedia in other languages: America (Aragonese), Amerika (Deutsch), América (Spanish), Amérique (French) [not AmériqueS], America (Italian), América (Portuguese) [although in the article, unsourced material says Américas is used…] and so on. But in english… AmericaS…

Just using the (weak) argument that the chosen 7 continent model is right and the other ones shoudn't be considered (and the entire world should be ignored). But that's Wikipedia: knowledge (strongly) language/country dependant and managed by people with a lot free time to impose their opinions and their… truth. MPA Neto (talk) 09:21, 29 March 2014 (UTC)

The English Wikipedia is written in English, the Spanish Wikipedia is written in Spanish. It's not a problem that the same place is named differently in different languages, compare London and fr:Londres, or Turin and it:Torino. Writing the English Wikipedia in Spanish or German makes no sense. WilyD 10:36, 29 March 2014 (UTC)
You might try reading a little more of Britannica: "Americas also called America, the two continents, North and South America, of the Western Hemisphere." - BilCat (talk) 15:01, 29 March 2014 (UTC)
As I said, "a lot free time to impose their opinions and their… truth". Like watchdogs, choosing what comes in or not. MPA Neto (talk) 02:21, 30 March 2014 (UTC)
BTW, I've made some modifications to the topic Terminology/Portuguese, which was unsourced (since December) and with errors. The topics Terminology/French and Terminology/Dutch seem to have the same errors and inconsistencies, at least with Wikipedia-Dutch (Amerika) and Wikipedia-French (Amérique), as far as I've seen. Both need sources and work. It seems that someone want us to believe in something that isn't reliable and can't be proven. MPA Neto (talk) 02:33, 30 March 2014 (UTC)
Well, I'm a bit more tentative about the other sections, but I don't believe the section should wander off into discussion other names for Americans, etc. Only note the using "America" or "American" when one means "the Americas" or "North and South American" is "ambiguous", because "America" and "American" are almost invariably used to mean "the United States" and "relating to the United States" (which is relevant to this page only because it explains most of the problem with using America and American when one means the Americas or inhabitants thereof. (And the sentence on how it's offensive to Canadians mostly rounds it out, though it'd be good to have a source on how Jamaicans, Bermudians, etc. feel). Then, note there are unambiguous terms for referring to the Americas . What else one calls Americans or the States is off-topic. And this article already spends way, way, way, way, way too much time on terminology, and way, way too little time on the actual subject. History, geography, politics, economy, etc. all need to be expanded, and at the expense of pushing fiddly terminology down to more specialised pages. This page should be about the Americas, not about what people from the United States are called. American (word) and Americas (terminology) exist for that purpose.
Et aussi, at this level of nuance, one really needs to speak the language reasonably well to suss out the usage in detail. But the French usage section is definitely correct, and in line with what's done on French Wikipeda (Voici: fr:Amérique_(homonymie) et fr:Américain). WilyD 12:34, 30 March 2014 (UTC)
But knowledge IS strongly language and country dependent in many cases. For example, the number and names of the continents. Yes, the 7 continent model is given primacy here on English Wikipedia because that's what is standard in most English speaking countries. The models used in other languages are not excluded, nor are they denigrated. But it would make no sense to follow them on this website when the general thrust of English publications is against them. --Khajidha (talk) 12:13, 31 March 2014 (UTC)


Should we discuss that proposed addition to the lede? We have the Pan American Games (no dash included) but the term is not as common as "Americas". I'll start the discussion, and don't intend to carry on, but it should be discussed after a revert or two rather than edit warring over the term. Walter Görlitz (talk) 23:56, 10 April 2014 (UTC)

There is no entry for a noun Pan-America in the second edition of the OED or in Merriam-Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary (9th ed.), though both have entries for the adjective Pan-American, of course. I think that without solid evidence that the noun is in common use—outside of such specialist uses as names of divisions of sports leagues, fictional nations in novels, and the like—it should not appear in the opening sentence as an alternative to Americas. Deor (talk) 01:35, 11 April 2014 (UTC)
I concur with Deor. There's just no evidence of widespread usage. - BilCat (talk) 03:36, 11 April 2014 (UTC)
Agreed. A handful of sources don't justify its use in this way. Dougweller (talk) 08:27, 11 April 2014 (UTC)
Pan-America and Pan-American are quite different to discuss. Pan-America I've never seen anywhere else (although calling the source dubious is a bit much - certainly, one can find other examples of it's use with Google and a modicum of patience (Pan America in Crisis quote: "Pan-America, geographically speaking, includes everything from the Arctic to the Antarctic oceans, and Pan-America, politically speaking, covers everything from the United States south to Argentina ..." and so on). Pan-American is quite widely used as an adjective (the PanAm games are hardly the only case - PanAm Air, the Pan American Highway are likely to be familiar to most people, many more obscure occurances exist. It's perhaps unclear how often it's used as an actual demonym (but I've never encounted American as a demonym for an inhabitant of the Americas in the wild either (but I'm a big guy, and from Canada, people don't usually enjoy shots in the mouth, so perhaps that's not indicative of much). So while we might relegate Pan America as a more obscure term to the more involved terminology section, I think we have to seriously entertain Pan-American as a demonym on par with American or New Worlder, as Pan-American is far more commonly used than Pan-America. WilyD 08:59, 11 April 2014 (UTC)
As an adjective, Pan American obviously means something spanning the Americas. You'd expect a demonym to mean something similar. I don't see the source[6]f as suggesting it is a synonym for American. Compare its definitions for American.[7] Dougweller (talk) 12:44, 11 April 2014 (UTC)
I've removed Pan-America from the Lead, but left Pan-American in the infobox for now, as that seems to be the consensus here. If someone wants to add something to the main text about the occasional use of Pan-America, that'd be fine. Please note that I add the dubious tag to refer to both the claim of Pan-America as being common usage, which is what including it in the Lead as an alternate name means, and for the original "sources" of a bok title and a Linked-in company entry. Other sources were later added in front of the tag which were more legitimate. - BilCat (talk) 18:06, 12 April 2014 (UTC)
I added Pan-American since I know that is another way to refer to something of the Americas and one that would not be confuse with American and something better instead of "New Worlder". (Technically New Worlder is correct but still.) To me it wouldn't have made sense having Pan-American without Pan-America so added that as well and provided a source. I added more sources since people kept on questioning each source. (Yes Pan-America is a word.) Editors kept on reverting and of course the 3 revert rule is going to get broken if it's 2 against 1 and each 2 can make two edits and technically not break the rule while I have to keep on changing it back. What was I suppose to do? Let my time go wasted? I got blocked and made me realize that it was not something worth to getting block over. Over an alternative name for the continents? Not worth it. I still feel Pan-America should be included. Maybe the lead could go as "The Americas, also refer to as Pan-America or America, also known as the New World, are the combined continental landmasses...". You guys decide. AbelM7 (talk) 06:25, 13 April 2014 (UTC)
    • ^ Cite error: The named reference LoCmap was invoked but never defined (see the help page).