+
upworthy
Identity

People from other countries share 14 'obvious' signs that someone is an American

"Americans lean on anything they can while standing around…"

american tourists, american culture, americans abroad

Some American tourists enjoying the sights

Americans have a style and personality all their own, which isn’t a bad thing. It’s just noticeable when they travel aboard. Americans often stand out because of their outgoing personalities. They are friendly and enjoy having casual conversations with strangers.

This is an endearing trait to a lot of people in more reserved cultures, although it can also come off as a little brash.

An American characteristic that isn’t quite endearing to people in other countries is that they can be rather loud. In Europe, one can always notice the Americans in the restaurant because they can be heard from across the room.


A Reddit user named Frosty-Ad3575 wanted to know the specific ways that Americans stand out when traveling abroad, so they asked the AskReddit subforum: “What’s an obvious sign that someone is an American?”

The post was popular, receiving nearly 6,000 responses in just 6 days. The most popular ones described how Americans' unique personalities, style of dress, dental hygiene and body language make them easy to spot.

Here are 14 “obvious” signs that someone is an American.

1. Posture

"Apparently, the CIA trains American agents to not lean on things if they go undercover in foreign countries because Americans lean on anything they can while standing around." — Clown1998

"I bet MI6 trains British agents to lean on everything if they go undercover in America because Americans lean on anything they can while standing around." — KingoftheMongoose

2. The date

"MMDDYYYY." — LowRevolution6175

3. Distances are different

"Anything under 4 hours is 'close by.'" — Grey-Canary

"Everything in Europe is around the corner if you're from the US. I can drive the whole day and not leave my state, but in Europe, I can pass through 4 countries in that same time frame." — JayHitter

4. They're polite to servers

"In the touristy cafe-restaurant I worked at:

If they asked me for the nicest spot we had

If they asked me my recommendation without seeing the menu first

I would walk to the table, and they would say right away ‘hey, how are you doing?’ This one threw me off a lot at first. Why is this person asking me how I'm doing?? I'm just there to take the order. I got used to it, and I think they found my awkwardness cute.

They would ask my name when I greeted them and took their order.

I'm Northern European." — Muc_99

"It’s under-appreciated just how polite, friendly, and sincere Americans are in general. It blew my mind the first time I came to the US, and I love that my children are growing up with those same values." — Irishweather5000


5. The water bottles

"I was told, 'Americans carry water bottles around like they're worried they'll never have access to clean water ever again.'" — Kosher_Dill

"I don't care what anyone says. If you think carrying a water bottle when walking a lot is weird, you're probably slightly dehydrated all the time and are just desensitized to it. You seriously need to drink water frequently if you want to be ideally healthy." — Tan11

6. Smiling

"I was in Germany this past summer, and I realized smiling at everyone you make eye contact with is very American. When I went to London on the same trip, they seemed less weirded out by it but would awkwardly return the smile. I was taught to always start with a disarming smile. Never realized it was American." — 12ozFitz

7. "More ice, please."

"I spent a year in Europe completely iceless to the point I forgot that was a thing. I stopped at a bar in Chicago fresh off the plane and not only did I get free tap water, but water with ice. I instantly felt at home." — Outside-Crezz8119

8. Personal space

"As an American man, I’ve been told repeatedly by European and Asian friends that we simply take up space (not by being fat) as though we’re entitled to it. Men in other countries apparently don’t claim the same personal space we do." — Potomacan

9. White teeth

"It’s even more bizarre that they assume we have braces or bleach our teeth because they’re straight and white. I have naturally straight white teeth. I brush them twice a day so they stay white. I don’t do anything special to them, but I remember being in London and some similar-aged students literally making fun of me for my teeth… it’s true that they don’t naturally look like headstones in an ancient graveyard, but there’s no need to make fun." — DPretilloZbornak

10. Casual dress

"My friend went to Germany recently, and what people said about Americans is you can spot them a mile away because they’re the ones wearing pajamas in public. Apparently, in other countries, at least Germany, they dress a little more formally and in less baggy clothes than we do in America." — MarcusWahlbezius

11. Baseball hats

"Baseball cap... even on an infant riding in a pram." — SyntheticOne

12. Shoes

"Americans are shoe snobs (they don’t think they are, but they are). Setting aside wealthier business types, Americans generally wear more on-brand, on-trend, high-quality shoes than others." — Mouflony

13. They're loud

"That was my first thought. Americans yell at each other in normal conversation in public. I noticed it years ago in Europe, and now I can’t stand it in the US." — SucccotashOther277

14. Occupation matters

"Immediately asking someone what they do for a living when meeting them. Our jobs and work are our entire identity." — Bealzu

"I hate that about American culture. I'm an American and recently became a SAHM, so I don't have an answer to 'What do you do for a living?' Half the time, I add the caveat, ‘Oh, my last job was with Apple,’ so that I'm not written off as an unemployed ‘loser.’ But it really is dumb to determine a person's worth by what they do in order to afford food and shelter." — WassupSassySasquatch

Family

Dad takes 7-week paternity leave after his second child is born and is stunned by the results

"These past seven weeks really opened up my eyes on how the household has actually ran, and 110% of that is because of my wife."

@ustheremingtons/TikTok

There's a lot to be gleaned from this.

Participating in paternity leave offers fathers so much more than an opportunity to bond with their new kids. It also allows them to help around the house and take on domestic responsibilities that many new mothers have to face alone…while also tending to a newborn.

All in all, it enables couples to handle the daunting new chapter as a team, making it less stressful on both parties. Or at least equally stressful on both parties. Democracy!

TikTok creator and dad Caleb Remington, from the popular account @ustheremingtons, confesses that for baby number one, he wasn’t able to take a “single day of paternity leave.”

This time around, for baby number two, Remington had the privilege of taking seven weeks off (to be clear—his employer offered four weeks, and he used an additional three weeks of PTO).

The time off changed Remington’s entire outlook on parenting, and his insights are something all parents could probably use.

Keep ReadingShow less

Millenial names are now "old" names.

You can’t turn back the hands of time and so it’s impossible to avoid being labeled “old” by younger generations, no matter how hard you try. For many of us, our names are tied to the times when we were born and can start to sound really dated, no matter how fashionable they were at one point.

TikTokker Amber Cimotti found this out the hard way when her daughter noted that she has an “old” person's name.

“My daughter told me the name Ashley or Amanda — or my name is Amber — are like old people names and I never thought about it this way,” Amber explained in a video with over 3 million views.

Keep ReadingShow less

Christine Kesteloo has one big problem living on a cruise ship.

A lot of folks would love to trade lives with Christine Kesteloo. Her husband is the Chief Engineer on a cruise ship, so she gets to live on the boat pretty much for free as the “wife on board.” For Christine, life is a lot like living on a permanent vacation.

“I live on a cruise ship for half the year with my husband, and it's often as glamorous as it sounds,” she told Insider. “After all, I don't cook, clean, make my bed, do laundry or pay for food.“

Living an all-inclusive lifestyle seems like paradise, but it has some drawbacks. Having access to all-you-can-eat food all day long can really have an effect on one’s waistline. Kesteloo admits that living on a cruise ship takes a lot of self-discipline because the temptation is always right under her nose.

Keep ReadingShow less

Woman shows her misbehaving cat to 'the trenches'

You always hear about a "bad dog," giving the furry goofballs a reputation for getting into mischief, but what about bad cats. Not all cats are angels just lounging around the house until someone gives them food while fanning them with a giant palm leaf. Some cats have a sketchy "catigree" and every once in a while they let that wild streak show. When that happens, what is a cat owner to do?

A cat mom that goes by the user name Lambo Licia on Instagram posted a video showing exactly how she gets her cat in line when he's misbehaving. No, it's not with a spray bottle. She shows him what life is like in "the trenches." You know, the area of town where homeless cats roam and cat burglars have real whiskers and thumbs that don't work, leaving a strange fish smell wherever they lurk.

If Scared Straight: Cat Edition was an actual thing, Mega, the orange tabby would be the first to turn his life around. He looks absolutely petrified from all of the unruly cat behavior he sees out the window and his mom's commentary.

Keep ReadingShow less
Science

College students use AI to decode ancient scroll burned in Mount Vesuvius

“Some of these texts could completely rewrite the history of key periods of the ancient world."

When Mount Vesuvius erupted in 79 C.E., it buried entire cities in volcanic materials. While Pompeii is the most famous site affected by the natural disaster, the nearby villa of Herculaneum was also laid to waste—including over 800 precious scrolls found inside Herculaneum’s library, which were carbonized by the heat, making them impossible to open and recover their contents.

Which brings us to the Vesuvius challenge, started by computer scientist Brent Seales and entrepreneurs Nat Friedman and Daniel Gross in March 2023. The contest would award $1 million in prizes to whoever could use machine learning to successfully read from the scrolls without damaging them.

On February 5, the prize-winning team was announced.
Keep ReadingShow less
Keith Allison/Wikimedia Commons

Shaquille O'Neal retired from pro basketball in 2011, but he's still one of the most famous players ever.

Fame comes with a lot of challenges, but it also comes with some pretty obvious perks. There's the money that frequently follows fame, of course, but there's also the special treatment people automatically offer you.

Some famous folks might revel in that special treatment and some might even express gratitude for it. But occasionally, you find a celebrity who refuses it altogether.

Take basketball legend Shaquille O'Neal, for instance.

Keep ReadingShow less