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I saw the word, ‘USAers’ in the lead copy of Reuter’s news titled ‘Gippered’ in Time magazine (September 6), which says:

“More than 1/3 of USAers say they are worse off under Bam. Warning-sign numbers galore in fresh WashPost/ABC poll. Conducted Aug. 29-Sept. 1, error margin 3.5 points.”

I think I’ve met the word, ‘USAers’ for the first time. Is this a day-to-day English word to substitute for Americans? Can I say ‘You USAers’ as a vocative in conversation with Americans?

In the same token, can I say ‘UAEers’ instead of the nation of the United Arab Emirates?

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It's most definitely not normal usage, so it's best avoided. And I'd certainly advise strongly against extending this method of generating new terms to other acronyms unless there's evidence that many native speakers are already doing it in specific cases. –  FumbleFingers Sep 6 '11 at 22:36
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I have another recent neologism to describe "USAers" - "fugly". –  Chris B. Behrens Sep 7 '11 at 0:01
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Do not assume such headlines or short summaries reflect real English usage. –  GEdgar Sep 7 '11 at 2:21
    
English does not have a standard form for "United Statesian" that is more precise than American. Spanish does, using estadounidense. –  Henry Oct 20 '12 at 15:37
    
Similarly avoid WashPost and Bam unless you are a Time headline writer. –  GEdgar Oct 20 '12 at 19:27

3 Answers 3

up vote 11 down vote accepted

I've never heard "USAer" (I live in the northeastern United States), nor seen it in writing. As simchona says, its meaning is fairly clear. It would be especially awkward to pronounce, as the speaker would have to pause between "A" and "ers" to make themselves clear.

A variant I have seen slightly more often is "USian", although this is again fairly rare, and never seen in a formal context.

The reason these terms exist is that the usual word that people from the United States of America use to describe themselves, "American", is imprecise. The word can, after all, legitimately describe anyone from anywhere in two different continents.

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USAer is not a day-to-day English word. On an Ngram of recent use, the graph looks like this:

However, this is not to say that the term is not understandable. The neologism is the result of adding the common suffix -er to create a noun. For example, one who swims is a swimmer. One who is part of the USA could be a USAer. You could say UAEer. Note that these words (USAer, UAEer, EL&Uer) are not standard English, however, so their use in formal writing is limited. You could use them in speech, however.

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I think it's unwise to advise non-native speakers that they "could definitely use" an effectively infinite number of such neologisms in speech, simply because in practice some of those will actually be understood. It gives the impression such usage might make one sound more like a native speaker, but the reality is this would almost never happen. –  FumbleFingers Sep 6 '11 at 22:31
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@FumbleFingers: Fixed. –  simchona Sep 6 '11 at 22:32

I think this may be a referrence to particulally patriotic Americans such as those who would chant "U-S-A" at sports game. I have never seen this usage before.

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