Skip to Content

The 11 Most American Things You Do Everyday. Do You?

Want to know how to spot an American abroad? Or just curious about the subtle nuances of American culture? These 11 giveaways are a good place to start.

We took to our favorite forums, and here are the top picks:

1. Talking To Strangers

Friends make your life funnier

Image Credits: Deposit Photos.

Americans are known for their friendly nature and if you spot someone friendly with strangers, they are probably from the U.S. 

“As my Mexican wife says… you Americans will talk to anyone. Just walk right up, and before you know it, they are your buddy from so and so place, and you are going off with them for a while” shared one. 

“Americans absolutely love talking to strangers. I find it hilarious when this clashes with the British imperative to avoid talking to strangers! I enjoy seeing Americans on the tube in London, prattling away to British commuters who look like they are dying inside” shared another.  

Related: 10 Common Items Non-Americans Assume Every U.S. House Has: Are They Right?

2. Baseball Cap

batter about to hit the ball in a baseball game

Image Credits: Deposit Photos.

“A British man once told me he knew I was American because I was wearing a baseball cap backward” shared one.  

“Or just wearing a baseball cap, period. When I was in Iceland, a lady told me they knew I was American because only kids and teens wore baseball caps…” shared yet another. 

There is no doubt that baseball is a popular sport in the U.S. 

Related: 17 Things Non-Americans Thought Was A Rumor, But Turned Out To Be True About America

3. Tipping

a plate of coins for a tip or fee toilets. in english

Image Credits: Deposit Photos.

“Every time I visit my relatives in Italy, they say, “don’t ruin it for us.” They don’t want the whole tipping thing to catch on” shared a user. 

Related: 10 American Quirks That Americans Think Are Typical, But Aren’t

4. Asking For Ranch 

Woman holding food bag

Image Credits: Deposit Photos.

Ranch dressing is a popular American sauce that is creamy and made with a blend of herbs, spices, and buttermilk. According to the Slate, it’s been America’s best-selling salad dressing since 1992. 

“Stopped at a steakhouse in Frankfurt, and a salad came with my meal. They asked if we wanted Italian or American dressing. American was ranch”, said one. 

Someone working in my office went to France and told me she asked for ranch dressing at a restaurant. They told her they didn’t have ranch dressing, and she was shocked and asked how it was possible they didn’t have RANCH. The waiter told her to return to America if she wanted ranch dressing. I died of embarrassment, and I wasn’t even there” shared another. 

5. Saying Y’all

Portrait of a smiling woman covering her eye with USA flag isolated on a white background

Image Credits: Deposit Photos.

“I said “y’all” when I went to Europe. Immediately outed me. It’s so easy and makes the meaning clearer. Now, to normalize the double contractions “allure” and “y’all’ve” shared one. 

“Remember the almighty ya’ll’n’t’ve. You all would not have compressed into a single word” said another. 

“Personally, I’m a fan of “Y’all’d’ve” shared yet another. 

Related: 6 Simple Things That Americans Take For Granted (But Really Valued In Less Developed Countries)

6. Gleaming White Teeth

What not to do in the US

Image Credits: Deposit Photos.

This may definitely sound weird, but one user said “Gleaming white teeth.” 

“Americans are all about cosmetic dentistry and orthodontics; the ones that aren’t are probably unable to easily afford international travel, so we don’t see a lot of Americans without perfectly aligned, iridescent white teeth in the UK or Australia” said another.  

“The difference is how white. In Portugal, I leave my whitening treatment with natural-looking teeth. Some Americans have unnaturally white teeth, like actually white, not “tooth color” said yet another. 

Seems like white teeth is a distinguisher. 

Related: 8 Things Non-Americans Find Confusing About America

7. Talking About American laws

Blonde teenager woman holding flag of United States of America pointing with finger to the camera and to you, hand sign, positive and confident gesture from the front

Image Credits: Deposit Photos.

“Talking about American laws before asking what country you live in” said one. 

“Always presuming everyone is American online in general. I visit r/architecture a fair bit (I am an architect). It’s a pretty international sub, and there are often posts about how to become an architect, what the degree is like, etc. Anyone, not American will say where they’re from – e.g., “what’s the process to become an architect in the UK?” Americans never tell where they’re from and assume everyone else is American. It’s always just “what’s architecture school like?” The answer is very different depending on where you’re from! I’ve also seen them answer a question by someone from a different country, completely ignoring where the OP is from” shared a user. 

“lol, this reminds me of literally every time someone in r/antiwork starts giving legal advice only relevant to Americans” added another. 

8. Talking Slowly With Hand Gestures

frugal habits we got from parents

Image Credits: Deposit Photos.

This is definitely something we all do or have at least noticed others doing.

“I am trying to communicate with other languages by speaking English but slowly and making way too many hand gestures” explained one.

“I have a stepmother from Thailand, so I see this a lot. She has a very thick accent but is 100% fluent in English and can speak very well. People talk slowly and loudly at her all the time, and I’m so used to the way she says I hear her perfectly fine, lol” shared another. 

“As an American living in Egypt with limited (but actively learning) Arabic, hand gestures help most of the time. And Google images/translate. But it is an American thing, especially talking slowly in English like it would help. Thankfully I’ve only done the talk slowly if I’m being sarcastic to other Americans here. It’s beautiful” shared yet another.

9. Describing Distance

Sad traveler tourist woman in summer casual clothes, hat sit near suitcase isolated on yellow orange background. Female passenger traveling abroad to travel on weekends getaway. Air flight concept

Image Credits: Deposit Photos.

“I’m an American that works for an international company. Europeans are often amused by how we describe distances. Instead of saying, “we’re x number of miles from that city, “we’ll say, “we’re two hours away,” or “that’s a four-hour drive.” They’re also universally blown away once they realize how big the US is” said one.

“That’s an American thing in general, like all over the Americas. I don’t think I’ve ever said, “oh, this is 5kms from here,” even back in Lima. You always say, “it’s about 30 mins from here.” said another. 

Related: Don’t Waste Your Time: 8 Overrated U.S. Tourist Destinations to Avoid

10. Asking For Ice

Child having breakfast with her mother and father

Image Credits: Deposit Photos.

“I was once in a rural cafe in France where an American was patiently explaining, in really very good French, that he wanted frozen water in a cube form to put in his drink” shared one.

“The cafe owner thought he was dangerously insane or was messing with him” shared another. 

“I was at a restaurant in France, and they brought me warm soda in a glass. When I asked them for ice, they got a tiny bowl of ice with a little set of silver tongs and put 2 ice cubes the size of sugar cubes into my glass, which melted immediately.” added another.

11. Volume

Tense indignant frustrated african american girl with dreadlocks, business woman, manager or freelancer working remotely at a laptop, experiencing stress at work, got bad message, gesturing with hands

Image Credits: Deposit Photos.

“The volume of their voice. Whenever I’m with my American friends, I am shocked at how loud they are” shared one. 

“They’re deafening but very thankful and just wonderful people, from what I’ve experienced in Australia” clarified a user. 

“Usually, they talk very loudly, even if they’re beside each other.” added another. 

We hope you like this Reddit discussion what are obvious immediate giveaways that someone is an American? Do read Debunked: 19 Frugal Myths That Don’t Actually Save Money

More From Mrs Daaku Studio:

young pretty woman looking shocked, angry, annoyed or disappointed, open mouthed and furious

Image Credits: Deposit Photos

Strange but True: 10 European Habits That Leave Americans Scratching Their Heads. 

We wanted to know what are the European traits that Americans find strange.

10 European Habits That Leave Americans Scratching Their Heads

10 Endangered Jobs That May NOT Be Around Much Longer

A beautiful young Caucasian woman with her hand in her hair.

Image Credits: Deposit Photos

Some professions are becoming obsolete as technology, and societal shifts continue to shape the workforce. We bave listed some jobs that don’t see the light in the coming years. 

10 Endangered Jobs That May Not Be Around Much Longer

Kill It: 10 Frugal Things That You’re Doing, But Aren’t Worth it ANYMORE!

Photo crazy astonished guy see incredible vacation sales discounts impressed, raise modern bright specs wear white clothes isolated over blue color background

Image Credits: Deposit Photos

While being frugal is a wise financial practice, not all frugal habits appeal to everyone. Some may find certain practices tedious, uncomfortable, or just not worth it anymore.

Kill It Now: 10 Frugal Things That You’re Doing, But Aren’t Worth It Anymore

11 Most Hated or Useless Jobs That People Wish They Could Eliminate From Society

Close up photo beautiful her she lady unexpected epic fail arms hands fingers near mouth bite teeth eyes full fear oh no expression wear casual white t-shirt clothes isolated violet purple background.

Image Credits: Deposit Photos

The modern job market is diverse, and each profession has a unique value. However, specific jobs may be considered useless, providing little benefit to society.

11 Most Hated or Useless Jobs That People Wish They Could Eliminate from Society

Don’t Get Duped: 10 Biggest Rip-Offs That You Are Continously Buying

Surprised and impressed brunette girl looking amazed and pointing fingers down.

Image Credits: Deposit Photos

As consumers, we often fall prey to clever marketing tactics and gimmicks that convince us to buy overpriced products or services that don’t live up to expectations. 

Don’t Get Duped: 10 Biggest Rip-offs That You Are Continuously Buying

This article was originally published on Mrs. Daaku Studio.