Residents of the United States of America may refer to their country as the "United States" (more formal), "America" (common and often patriotic), "the U.S.A.", or simply "the States" (informal). Residents of Alaska, United States of America's northernmost state, refer to mainland America as "the lower 48" (informal).
Residents of the United Kingdom typically refer to the United States of America as "America". Residents of Canada less frequently refer to the United States of America as "America", referring otherwise to "the United States" (more formal), "the U.S." (common), or simply "the States" (informal). Peoples from Latin American countries usually refer to "America" as the whole continent, rarely using the term "Americas" mostly used in the United States.
The plural form "the Americas" is common when referring to North and South America together, to avoid ambiguity. Seen as a single continent, it is commonly "the continent of America".
From a Latinized form of the forename of Amerigo Vespucci (1454–1512).