AUTHOR: Stephanie Allen
When we travel abroad, no matter how hard we try to blend in with the locals, we quickly identify as being from the United States. An online question and answer board asked its members to define the traits that are distinctively American.
Table of Contents
- 1. Eating While Walking
- 2. The Accessories
- 3. Voices That Carry
- 4. Greetings and Salutations
- 5. Imperial System of Measurement
- 6. Good Teeth
- 7. Leg Cross
- 8. Ranch Dressing
- 9. Sense of Humor
- 10. Swimwear
- 10 American Foods That Foreigners Find Gross
- 10 Foods We Miss From Our Childhood That Need To Return
- 10 Worst Celebrities That No One Wants to Ever Serve Again
- The 10 Most American Foods Of All Time
- 10 Ridiculous Rules People Actually Believe In
- Top 10 Countries With The Best Food In The World
- 1001 Instant Pot Recipes
1. Eating While Walking
Only Americans eat and drink while walking, says an American participant who previously lived in Europe. They continue, "I'd be eating a bagel or something on the way to work or class, and multiple people asked if I was American, lol." In Europe, it's customary to sit down and take the time to enjoy your food and beverages instead of walking while eating and drinking.
2. The Accessories
According to several responders, wearing certain accessories makes it easy to tell if someone is from the U.S. One says they looked American because they wore their baseball cap backward. Another one remarks that it was because they rested their sunglasses on top of their head when they weren't wearing them. A third one claims that wearing tactical sunglasses is a uniquely American trait.
3. Voices That Carry
Numerous participants in the discussion point out how much louder Americans are compared to their global neighbors, with a person admitting their European friends and fellow travelers saying Americans do not have anything resembling an indoor voice and always sound like they are talking to someone far away.
4. Greetings and Salutations
The friendliness of Americans, especially the habit of greeting strangers with phrases like "Hello" and "How are you?" is an obvious tell. Friendly greetings and pleasantries seemingly aren't a custom in many places outside of the U.S.
5. Imperial System of Measurement
While much of the world uses the metric system of measurement, America is one of the few countries using the imperial system. A commenter on the thread acknowledges that Americans give themselves away because "they measure things in inches and yards and talk about the weather in Fahrenheit." The metric system isn't widely taught in American schools, making measurements challenging when traveling overseas.
6. Good Teeth
A rather unusual way of identifying someone as an American is to look at their teeth. According to a few contributors, people from the United States either have exceedingly white teeth due to bleaching or are perfectly straight because of braces.
7. Leg Cross
An American traveler admits, "While visiting Turkey, I was told I looked American because I was sitting with one leg across the other, and the bottom of my shoe was exposed." While sitting with one leg crossing the other is commonplace in the U.S., in many cultures in that part of the world, displaying the soles of your shoes or feet is considered disrespectful.
8. Ranch Dressing
If you had to identify the most all-American condiment, it must be ranch dressing. One American from the discussion board recounts discovering that ranch isn't a universally known condiment: They went to a Burger King in Norway, asked for ranch dressing, and the worker had never heard of it.
9. Sense of Humor
An individual from Asia shares their appreciation for Americans' sense of humor, writing, "I've talked to a lot of Americans, and one thing I've noticed about them is their sense of humor. I also watch many American movies and have seen many humorous videos and memes." Americans do love a good laugh!
The typical swimwear worn by European and American men is as different as night and day. Speedos that leave little to the imagination are the conventional swimwear worn by European men. American men wear more modest swim trunks unless they compete in a swim meet. Someone on the thread thanks American men for their swimwear preferences.
This thread inspired this post.
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