America, America or North America? Disputes over the use of the term for US-born

  • Victor Tavares
  • From BBC News Brasil in São Paulo

Think quickly: what term would you use in Portuguese for someone born in the United States?

America? North America? America?

Regardless of your answer, it is correct, according to the manual and the Portuguese dictionary. But your choice may reveal, in some way, how you think…

The Houaiss Dictionary, one of the most respected in the Portuguese language, places the term as equivalent: “America = relative to the United States of America (United States of America) or what its inhabitants or inhabitants are; America, North America, Yankee.”

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