11 Daily Habits That Define the American Way of Life

Want to spot an American abroad or understand their culture? Here are 11 signs that reveal American lifestyle, gathered from our favorite forums.

1. Talking To Strangers

Americans are known for their friendly nature and willingness to talk to strangers, a trait that can lead to amusing encounters with less outgoing nationalities. Related: 10 Common Items Non-Americans Assume Every U.S. House Has: Are They Right?

2. Baseball Cap

"A Brit recognized me as an American for wearing a baseball cap backward. In Iceland, only kids and teens wear them," shared a couple of travelers. 17 Things Non-Americans Thought Was A Rumor, But Turned Out To Be True About America

3. Tipping

"Every time I visit my Italian relatives, they say, 'don't make tipping a thing here',” shared a user. Related: 10 American Quirks.

4. Asking For Ranch

Ranch dressing, a creamy sauce made with herbs, spices, and buttermilk, is America's best-selling salad dressing since 1992 according to Slate. Its popularity extends overseas, often surprising those unaware of it like one employee in France.

5. Saying Y’all

"I said “y’all” in Europe and was revealed. It's clear and easy. Now, to normalize “allure” and “y'all’ve.” Another added "Remember ya'll’n’t’ve." A fan of “Y’all’d’ve” replied. Related: 6 Simple Things Americans Take For Granted"

6. Gleaming White Teeth

One user said, "Gleaming white teeth" indicates Americans. They are big on cosmetic dentistry. Some have unnaturally white teeth, not "tooth color". Related: 8 Things Non-Americans Find Confusing About America

7. Talking About American laws

"One user noticed Americans presuming everyone online is US-based. This happens on r/architecture frequently - Americans fail to mention their origin and answer questions from an international perspective", another recalled similar experiences in r/antiwork.

8. Talking Slowly With Hand Gestures

"We all try to communicate in other languages by speaking English slowly and using hand gestures. People talk loudly and slowly even to fluent speakers with accents. As an American in Egypt, I find hand gestures and Google translate helpful when understanding Arabic," shared various individuals.

9. Describing Distance

"I'm an American working internationally. Europeans are amused by how we describe distances in time, not miles," one said. Another added, "You always say, 'it's about 30 mins from here.'" Related: Don’t Waste Your Time: 8 Overrated U.S. Tourist Destinations to Avoid

10. Asking For Ice

Once in France, an American demanded frozen water cubes for his drink, creates suspicion he is insane. At another restaurant, requesting ice results in two tiny quickly melting cubes.

11. Volume

Americans are loud but amiable, noticed by Australian users. For interesting discussions, check this Reddit discussion and read Debunking 19 Frugal Myths.

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