Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Sun Mar 18 03:23:55 UTC 2012

At 3/17/2012 05:47 PM, Jonathan Lighter wrote:
>Since we're talking about English here, the answer is the seventeenth

(Larry's original question was:
 > Where and how did "American" come to mean "USaian" the exclusion of
 > Canadian, Mexican, Chilean, and so on?)

The Americans only began to distinguish themselves from the English,
and vice versa, generally invidiously, circa 1740.  The OED has a
1741 quotation from George Whitefield (although his distinction is
not with ill feeling), and Admiral Vernon used the distinction with
odium in 1740.

(The OED doesn't, but I think usefully could, separate this 1740s
usage from the broader 2.a., "Originally: a native or inhabitant of
America, esp. of the British colonies in North America, of European
descent (now hist.). Now chiefly: a native or citizen of the United States.")


The American Dialect Society -

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