Normally speaking, people use "American" as the answer to nationality. However, all US passports show "United States of America" under Nationality. After making a Google Search, I found that the passports of all other countries use "Nationality" in the natural way - for example, "Canadian" for Canadian Passports.

So, what should be the nationality for a person in USA: "United States of America" or "American"?

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    This doesn’t sound like an English question.
    – Jim
    Jan 25 '17 at 22:23
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    Also see Can I use “US-American” to disambiguate “American”? If not, what can I use? and Is ‘USAers’ just an ordinary English word today? As a broad rule, United States of America is essentially never used attributively— you are a U.S. citizen, a United States citizen, or an American citizen.
    – choster
    Jan 25 '17 at 23:10
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    Yes see the previous discussion linked by choster above. There is a good and complete discussion and detailed answers there.
    – Tom22
    Jan 25 '17 at 23:17
  • @choster I agree with your comment but regret that our "American" cousins do not always reciprocate in kind where Brits are concerned. We tend to be deemed "English", overlooking the upset caused to the Scots, Welsh and Northern Irish. Our collective citizenship is that of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland or just British for short. But it's up to any Brit who wants to express his/her identity as that of England, Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland by doing just that, etc. Jan 26 '17 at 8:49
  • @PeterPoint I agree, though I might point out the British do the same in referring to Holland instead of the Netherlands, to the eye-rolling of Limburgers and Frisians. And of course, people spoke of the Soviets as Russians, or the denizens of the Holy Roman Empire as Germans. At least, better-educated Americans are more carefully about distinguishing English and British than those of a generation ago, though a few fixed phrases like the Queen of England persist.
    – choster
    Jan 26 '17 at 15:06

USA. "American" covers a lot more ground - Mexicans and Canadians are Americans, and some of them object strenuously to equating "American" to "citizen of the USA". Not to mention Brazilians, Ecuadoreans, etc., all of whom are Americans.

Plus, as a legal matter, the name of the country is not "America".

I'll add that this in that USA this is political, not ethnic. Compare "I'm German", or "He's Chinese". These days a German citizen could be, e.g. a Turk. "I'm American" carries no ethinic implication. I suspect the same is true of "I'm Canadian". Not sure about other "New World" countries. Brazil?

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    I think the usual case in the Anglosphere is to consider North and South America separate continents, and so Canadians and Brazilians would be North Americans and South Americans, but it would be rare to combine them as Americans, especially because America and American are tightly associated with the United States. Just because the Spanish-speaking or French-speaking worlds divide up landmasses diffferently has no bearing on what is customary in English.
    – choster
    Jan 25 '17 at 23:44
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    @choster: well, you'd have to ask "them", wouldn''t you? This very day i heard a radio interview with an immigrant who complained about people using "American" to mean USA citizen. And I don't even know what "Anglosphere " means. Anglos who presume to tell everybody else how to talk?
    – user175542
    Jan 25 '17 at 23:51
  • @mobileink No, Anglos who tell everybody else what to do. Now hop to it.
    – deadrat
    Jan 25 '17 at 23:56
  • @daedrat: what if i'm not anglo? is that allowed? obviously you are, since you have issued an order. ;)
    – user175542
    Jan 26 '17 at 0:01
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    @mobileink I am a steady consumer of newspapers and other media from Australian, British, Canadian, and Irish sources as well as from the U.S., and I am fairly certain I have never encountered a use of America or American that was not in reference to the United States. For that matter, I don't think I've come across it in South African, Pakistani, Singaporean, or Indian sources either. The America-is-a-continent position is not one widely held in the English-speaking world.
    – choster
    Jan 26 '17 at 23:21

The people of the United States of America use the term "American" as national identifiers. This is similar to other nations, like the Peoples' Republic of China are referred to as "Chinese", not "Peoples' Republic of China-ese".

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    This is not similar to other nations. China is not a section of a larger continent called China and doesn't abrogate the name of a continent to describe the nationality of its citizens. Citizens of the "Commonwealth of Australia" do call themselves "Australian" but there is no other nation occupying the same continent.
    – traktor
    Jan 26 '17 at 0:45
  • Sure, it is. China is part of tge Asian continent. The USA is path of the North American continent, not the American continent. Jan 26 '17 at 1:30

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