What's the word for a fan of the USA?
April 15, 2005 5:14 PM   Subscribe

Prompted by this thread. An Anglophile is fan of England, its people and culture. A Sinophile is a fan of China, its people and culture. Francophile, ditto for France. Is there a "phile" when it comes to America?
posted by szechuan to Writing & Language (24 answers total)
I've used 'Yankophile' with some success, when describing a certain kind of teenager common around here... but I think that just suggests that there is no established -ophile word for the US. (I'm also not sure that some Americans wouldn't take offence to that, so perhaps it's not a great coinage)
posted by pompomtom at 5:33 PM on April 15, 2005

I don't know if this suggests outright philia, but there's always Americanist.
posted by melissa may at 5:37 PM on April 15, 2005

"Americanophile" gets over 700 Google hits, which is not a lot but indicates that people keep coming up with it as a solution to this problem. (On the other hand, Google asks "Did you mean: american idol?"—and the latter gets over 9 million hits.)
posted by languagehat at 5:55 PM on April 15, 2005

I would suggest Americanaphile but no one uses it.

USianphile doesn't have a certain ring to it.
posted by andendau at 5:59 PM on April 15, 2005

Google says Yankophile beats Americanophile, although I suspect they have slightly different meanings.

yankophile 945
americanophile 716
americophile 233
americaphile 150
usaphile 14
usphile 1

anglophile 102,000
francophile 84,700
japanophile 20,400
sinophile 3450
canadaphile 290
posted by teg at 6:29 PM on April 15, 2005

I've heard "Ameriphile" (and think it sounds the most natural of the options), but it gets only 78 Google hits, so clearly it's not standard either.
posted by Zonker at 7:22 PM on April 15, 2005

Ameriphile makes the most sense. But AFAIK there's no standard form that's equivalent to anglo-, franco-, etc, as (unsurprisingly) there's no Greek or Latin root name for the US. I'd guess this is why it's always anglo-american relations and not the other way 'round.

"USian" and such are dumb constructions to start with as they're built on a confusion that no sane person would make, so there's no sense in expanding them with -phile.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 8:15 PM on April 15, 2005

I would use the term Americentric if I had to.
posted by fourstar at 9:43 PM on April 15, 2005

The usual term bandied about works better as an adjective: pro-American.
posted by dhartung at 9:56 PM on April 15, 2005

Yeah, I use Americanophile.
posted by skylar at 11:02 PM on April 15, 2005

Amerigophile gives me one hit. What do I win?
posted by slater at 3:58 AM on April 16, 2005

You win the grand sum of one Amerigo. Please cash it in at the nearest branch.
posted by madman at 4:30 AM on April 16, 2005

Americanophile, or Americophile. They're not in ordinary dictionaries but they're commonly used.

It's not the same thing as "pro-American", that's political; also different from Americanist, that's academic (rarely and rather wrongly used in the political "pro-American" sense). The *phile thing, properly used, has nothing to do with politics. You can be a political anti-American and an Americanophile, but no Americanist because you don't study American literature or history. However, these terms get often mixed up. (The way Europhile has come to mean pro-EU rather than generically interested in European cultures, languages, etc.)

There you go, my uber-pedantic twoppence.
posted by funambulist at 4:48 AM on April 16, 2005

They're not in ordinary dictionaries but they're commonly used.

I'm sorry, but a few hundred Google hits is not compatible with "commonly used." There is no commonly used word; it's a vocabulary gap filled on an ad hoc basis. Probably the most common solution is periphrasis ("likes everything that's American" &c).
posted by languagehat at 6:36 AM on April 16, 2005

Although the term is used to denote admiration for the culture of a nation, the prefixes (Franco-, Anglo-, Sino- etc.) denote the dominant ethnic grouping comprising the nation being described (the prefixes themselves derive from Latin or Greek terms for the people of the region). While there is a distinct American culture, there is no distinct American ethnic type. So there can be no satisfactory American equivalent of the x-ophile descriptor.
posted by RichLyon at 7:21 AM on April 16, 2005

it may have something to do with the dominance of the mainstream american culture globally, so that to a certain unfortunate extent it's the default culture anywya. To be a francophile or a japanophile, you're differentiating yourself; it's like your little hobby to explore that particular culture. But american culture is right in front of you no matter what; it's not as much of a 'niche'...
posted by mdn at 7:36 AM on April 16, 2005

But american culture is right in front of you no matter what; it's not as much of a 'niche'...

Well, if you're talking about just keeping up with current pop culture, yes. But what would you call, say, a group Austrians who play bluegrass music? (My German professor knew a group like this, and attempted to instruct them on American accents). Being familiar with American Top-40 music and the latest Hollywood blockbusters is not a feat; being aware that there's anything else to America is.
posted by dagnyscott at 9:11 AM on April 16, 2005

languagehat, I wasn't thinking of random Google hits, but of print articles and other contexts where I've encountered that term (usually 'Americanophile' rather than 'Americophile').

'Europhile' is not in the dictionary either, yet, in whatever meaning, political or cultural or generic, it is now commonly used. (Actually, it is found in bilingual dictionaries).

You're right, it is an ad hoc thing. I'm not making claims about what should be in the dictionary, or saying that usage alone makes a word 'official' even if it's not yet in dictionaries... I'm just saying that is the term I've most often come across in that sense and with that meaning, even in contexts when the language and style was for publication, not just colloquial. It's the term I would choose myself, and prefer to a periphrasis.

After all, -phile is a suffix, it can be attached to pretty much anything...
posted by funambulist at 9:19 AM on April 16, 2005

But what would you call, say, a group Austrians who play bluegrass music?

That's one of the instances I was thinking of. Though this is not in English, it fits your example exactly - in an interview, a popular Italian performer and tv presenter who's a big fan of American bluegrass, amongst other things, says he likes to call himself "americanologo" or "americanofilo"...

Here's from a list of publications in a document on the website of the US embassy in Germany:
Americanophilia. George Watson (The American Scholar, Spring 2000, pp. 119-126)
To be an Americanophile is to love America--its literature, its music, its films--without belonging to it. Americans are largely unaware of Americanophilia as a European state of mind
This is the 'Americanophilia' article (on Amazon) being referred to.
posted by funambulist at 9:39 AM on April 16, 2005

gringophile gets two hits on google. so it's probably not that.
posted by andrew cooke at 10:23 AM on April 16, 2005

You're looking for "Jingoist" (usually a bad thing), or "Yankee."

Sure you can make up a "-phile" word, as many undoubtedly have, but if you're looking for the original words with the same meaning, there they are.
posted by SlyBevel at 10:50 AM on April 16, 2005

Well, if you're talking about just keeping up with current pop culture, yes. But what would you call, say, a group Austrians who play bluegrass music?

If you're addressing a specific subculture, wouldn't it be more accurate to use the -phile suffix with that, e.g., a dixiephile, or something? Though of course, that's not a word anyone uses, and I can't think of what we do call people who love faulkner, bourbon & country music, and it does seem to me that there oughta be one, as that is a sorta niche culture people get fascinated by...
posted by mdn at 11:08 AM on April 16, 2005

SlyBevel - A jingoist is a reflexive nationalist, and a Yankee is an American (outside of America, whereas inside it means someone from the North-East right?) as opposed to someone with a greater than usual interest in Americana. They do not have the same meaning as the term sought here.
posted by onshi at 3:49 PM on April 16, 2005

I once worked with a guy who would mockingly state
"I'm an American, not an American't."
Yeah, so there's that.
posted by blueberry at 4:48 AM on April 17, 2005

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