People who like/admire English or French (the languages and/or the people and their culture) are easily identified as Anglophiles or Francophiles.

I'm not sure there are so many Germanophiles, but that might be because they're diluted by the presence of Teutophiles.

My problem is on the (not ridiculously rare) occasions when I want to express positive feeling towards American people (or their linguistic peculiarities), I don't have a similar word.

Am I missing something obvious? Or is there a little-known term?

  • 7
    Speaking for my people, we know and relish in the fact that we're universally despised the world around. I'm sure that Steven Colbert would be happy to supply a word for this, though. Cute thread on this subject here. But, Americaphile does come up with positive hits on Google.
    – David M
    Mar 3, 2014 at 18:31
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    We don't need a phony Greek word for it, in any case. Mar 3, 2014 at 18:37
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    Americana is already a word, connoting fondness; I suggest Americanaphile, with a hopefully preemptive eyeroll to those who grumble America is a continent, not a country. Mar 3, 2014 at 18:45
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    @DavidM "Columbophile" would make a lot of sense if it wasn't used already to designate the fans of Lt. Columbo.
    – Elian
    Mar 3, 2014 at 18:56
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    @Oldcat: I can't post a link to it unless you have a subscription, but OED has Americanophile n. A person who loves or admires the United States or its culture. adj. Characterized by love of or admiration [for the same]. Mar 3, 2014 at 22:17

4 Answers 4


Can't find a dictionary word but these neologisms should all be understandable:

  • Philamerican, á la philhellene.

  • Americanophile, while this does not seem to have a dictionary entry, it does appear in print a few times.

  • 4
    Philamerican sounds like a contraction of Philadephian-American.
    – Oldcat
    Mar 3, 2014 at 18:38
  • @Oldcat I think it is even used that way but that is not the only way to parse it and not the way I would have understood it despite my Dad being from Philadelphia. And anyway, Philadlephian American seems ridiculous, what's wrong with Philadelphian?
    – terdon
    Mar 3, 2014 at 18:40
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    You'll have to ask their neighbors for the answer to that last question.
    – Oldcat
    Mar 3, 2014 at 18:42
  • Philamerican sounds like someone who is a lover-American. And, as a native New Yorker (transplanted to Connecticut)- Philly sucks!
    – David M
    Mar 3, 2014 at 18:42
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    Indeed the phil- prefix is not so strange: philosophy, philanthropy, philandering, philing stystem
    – oerkelens
    Mar 3, 2014 at 19:00

Americophile (plural Americophiles)

  1. a lover of the United States and/or their way of life

Admittedly it's only Wiktionary, but Americophile follows the general rule for constructing such words (i.e., Latinish/Greekish-sounding root ending in "o" + "phile"), produces about 9000 results on Google, and has a reasonably pleasant ring to it. If we're voting on the question, Americophile gets mine.

(The word for people who have a love/hate attitude toward the United States is, of course, "people.")

  • 1
    Interestingly, Americanophile yields more search results, but has no entry; Ameriphile has some advocates as well. Why do we pursue the classical roots? Would not a Yank-lover by any other name talk just as loudly in restaurants? :)
    – choster
    Mar 3, 2014 at 19:36
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    Tsk Tsk the way many of you Brits get tweaked by being called English you should be sensitive to the non-Yankee Americans out there. Like the Red Sox.
    – Oldcat
    Mar 3, 2014 at 19:41
  • @choster: I didn't want to mention it in the original question in case it distorted responses, but Americanophile was the best I could come up with before asking. It's interesting that your comment and terdon's as-yet-ignored answer are currently the only two occurences of the word on a page that's already caused far more comment than anything I've ever posted in over 3 years on ELU. The word Americana (things American) is commonplace, but Americanaphile just looks "weird" - why does no-one seem to care for Americanophile? Mar 3, 2014 at 21:22
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    Americanophile would seem to be someone who loves American people rather than its culture and country. We use Anglo- not Englander- to make the English '-phile' word.
    – Oldcat
    Mar 3, 2014 at 22:11
  • Having now checked OED, I find Americophile isn't there. The closest match (under the general heading of the combining prefix Americo-) is Americomania: noun, now rare; an excessive fondness or craze for everything American. And Google Books has far more Americanophiles than Americophiles (in singular as well as plural), so I think these votes are wishful thinking from Americans who would like to be liked by more Americophiles. They should just be grateful at least all those Americanophiles love them (and watch out for those sick weirdo Americomaniacs! :) Mar 4, 2014 at 2:32

I suspect that since there is apparently no dictionary entry for the word you're asking for, the very concept is nonexistent, or, a fable.

The best you will probably find is something that could originate from Mao's Little Red Book:

"Running dog of the Imperialist US Lackeys"

I'm sure Stephen Colbert would heartily concur.

Edited to add:

@FumbleFingers has suggested that this answer seems more like a flippant comment than a real answer, and indeed he may have a point. But I do recognize that the question was asked in all seriousness, and my actual serious answer is contained in my first sentence. In other words, despite the proposed candidates, such as Americanophile, there really is no such word.

The remainder of my original answer above was editorial comment. I've been around the block, and lived in a number of countries, and I have loved them all. Having lived in all three countries for years, I am an Anglophile a Germanophile, and a Canadophile. From this residence experience I recognize that there is a certain degree of awe or even fear of the United States, as the foremost economic and military power of the past century -- although this is expressed more often as affected disdain. What far too few seem to recognize, however, is that the modern power of the US is rooted in its diversity, and expressed in its union. "E Pluribus Unun" = "Out of Many, One". To be Americanophile is to combine Anglophile, Germanophile, Hindiphile, Latinophile, Francophile, Sinophile, Russophile, Italophile, Poliphile, Afrophile, and many more. In short, the United States is in effect The World Country. There is no country nor culture not represented here, and the larger the diversity the stronger we are -- as long as we are united. May that ever be so.

But that won't stop the Colberts and the other self-loathers from putting down what should be admired and even loved, even by those outside the US.

I apologize if this seems excessively patriotic. This isn't my intent. My intent is to show that if there is any greatness in the United States, it is great because it is the World united in one.

Hence there cannot be a genuine word such as Americanophile.

PS: Yes, I know that the original intent of "E Pluribus Unum" was "out of many states, one country", but I submit that we've evolved well past that original meaning.

  • 3
    Despite my joke comment above, I would be very surprised if there's no such word. One should have popped up at least during the USA craze of the early century. The whole American dream thing was a very popular idea in Europe and, as I'm sure you know, resulted in most of our ancestors taking a boat over. Wouldn't there have been a word for them? On the European side I mean, not limey or wop or similar words that were developed on the other side of the pond.
    – terdon
    Mar 3, 2014 at 18:55
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    And everyone loves puppies! And America!
    – Oldcat
    Mar 3, 2014 at 19:11
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    @Oldcat yes, of course. The crushing majority of today's Americans (with the sole and dwindling exception of Native Americans) are the children of immigrants, obviously. A fact that is conveniently overlooked by the xenophobic voices in the country. Nevertheless, before coming to the states, these people were not Americans and may well have had a word to describe them. Since so many came from the British Isles, I would also expect a word in the English language top describe them.
    – terdon
    Mar 3, 2014 at 19:17
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    Usually these terms are used culturally, rather than nationally. So a Francophile likes restaurants and plays and clothing designs rather than a love for the French government. US has always been considered culturally impoverished by culture-snobs, both here and overseas, even while it takes over their theaters and television stations.
    – Oldcat
    Mar 3, 2014 at 19:25
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    You must answer as you see fit, of course. But the question was asked in all seriousness, and this seems to be a flippant "comment" rather than an "answer". Mar 3, 2014 at 21:37

Let's unpack this concept for a bit - why do words exist for some cultures (Anglophile, Francophile, Germanophile; I've also seen Russophile and Japanophile) but not others (Españaphile? Belgiphile?)? I submit for your consideration that these terms do not exist merely to describe admiration of the cultures in question, but an arrogant admiration: a belief that a particular nation is objectively superior, and that this objective superiority is also either transferred to the holder of such a belief, or evident by the fact that he holds it.

In other words, it's as much as question of snobbery as anything else - the American upper class has traditionally been Anglophile, the British upper class traditionally Francophile, much of the Continental upper class Germanophile, university leftists in the 60s Russophile, and so forth. In that sense snobbery is not really reconcilable with the American populist streak or the popular stereotypes and conceptions about Americans and American culture. There are certainly snobby people who love America, and snobby approaches to things like trends in America, but that tends to be incidental to the person's snobbishness rather than a defining feature.

We are, however, smug as hell.

  • 1
    People who like the Spanish (or alternatively, all Spanish-speaking countries) are Hispanophiles. I'm not sure Belgians natively speaking Dutch, French or German, and culturally Flemish or Walloon, really have a comparably recognisable language or culture. I'm an "Escherite" myself, but that's about as far as it goes. Mar 4, 2014 at 13:17
  • @FumbleFingers That there's no accepted and unambiguous definition for Hispanophile (I've never encountered the term before today) suggests to me that the concept is not a very strong one. As to Belgium, surely you jest - there are distinctly Belgian trends and tastes in comics, dance music, beer, and food (among numerous other things) that transcend the Flemish-Walloon divide and are not really shared with Belgium's neighbors. Mar 6, 2014 at 12:39
  • Even if there were none at the formation of the country in the early 1800s, the many years since would have added some shared experience. It has been together longer than Germany has.
    – Oldcat
    Mar 6, 2014 at 17:11

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