When did 'Merica Become an Acceptable Way of Saying America? - ITS Tactical

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When did ‘Merica Become an Acceptable Way of Saying America?

By Bryan Black


While we all love the fun of an excessive representation about American patriotism, the culture we live in today is interesting to say the least. Our English language continues to be one of the hardest in the world to learn due to its ever changing nature and the Internet surely hasn’t made it any easier. An example of this is how so many things have become abbreviated and technology companies are popping up left and right with names that are missing letters to help them stand out. Flickr, Tumblr, Rdio, the list goes on.

These abbreviations have even trickled down into how we spell America in internet lingo and memes. I’m not questioning anyone’s American patriotism and would rather see ‘Merica (or even ‘Murica) than nothing at all, but I still cringe when I see America abbreviated like that.

I have to admit some of those memes are hilarious, but I can’t help seeing it as a shortcut, or a trendy way of being patriotic. I honestly don’t know the origin of the abbreviation, maybe as a way to save characters in a hashtag like #merica?

Patriotism, at least to me, isn’t a trend. It’s not something I take lightly, or something I find myself needing shortcuts to express.

America is about freedom, freedom for everyone to speak their mind no matter what the topic. Just as it’s everyone’s right to abbreviate America, its also my right to question it.

I might be in the minority, but I just don’t fully understand why society has deemed the abbreviation of America to ‘Merica as acceptable. Maybe I just need more coffee this morning.

Don’t even get me started on the “bro, do you even…”


Ronald Reagan Riding a Velociraptor © SharpWriter

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  • MattSeymour

    Just a side note, the dude on the Raptor should have been ‘Uncle Sam’ dual wielding Colt 1911’s with an AT4 on his back. Not a Russchina RPG and German made MP7. Just sayin……if you wanted to make it more ‘Murican!  LOL

    • Mike Adams

      MattSeymour “The dude”?

    • MattSeymour

      @Mike Adams MattSeymour Uhhh…..Yeah? Am I supposed to know who that guy is? Kinda looks like Ronald Reagan a little.

  • RKlenka

    I think there is some misunderstanding here. ‘Merica or ‘Murica isn’t exactly an ‘acceptable’ way of saying America. You are supposed to cringe when someone says it. That’s the point.

  • liveasif

    I think it all stems from a redneck’s pronunciation of the word ‘America’ – they drop the ‘a’ down there in the south. Similar to variations of ‘get her done’ being ‘giterdun’. Not that it really changes anything, but I don’t think it stems from the need to shorten the word, because an extra ‘a’ is just too much to type.

    • Pelleas

      liveasif Thank you, I had almost forgotten that all rednecks live in the South. All the ones I met in California, Kansas, Utah, Arizona, Nevada, Illinois, and Iowa must have been transients;)

    • liveasif

      @Pelleas liveasif heh, ‘the south’ in that use was meant to be as broad in meaning as ‘redneck’ – and not relegated to a specific latitudinal plane. Though, I’d say Arizona, parts of California and Nevada would safely fall into that ‘south’ category anyway. 😉

    • Cato Younger

      liveasif No, they do not say it like that.  I do business in “the South” and they are for the most part good, patriotic, hard-working people.

  • XPO172

    Well said Bryan.  I’m not a fan of Xmas either. 
    I always thought that ‘merica came from the Team America theme

    • Guest
    • XPO172

      @Guest Good to know.  Thanks.

    • MattSeymour

      @XPO172 I agree, can’t stand XMas. Always thought of it as a PC/apologetic term as to not offend those not of a Christian faith.

  • 7k7k99

    ‘Merica happened when we lost the country in November 2008. The fundamental transformation into a country none of us will recognize is almost complete. The country is lost and we are soon to be a marxist dictatorship under BHO.

    • Mattabeedeez

      First off…You’re insane.. And second, I am by no means condoning the actions of the current administration.. That said..Remind me of the last time a democracy was overthrown by a dictator? How the hell would Obama convince, not only the electorate, but the military to back him as a dictator? You’re doing what we call “fear-mongering.” Also, if the complaint is about healthcare.. Do you realize that Medicare is the exact same thing? How people who willingly pay into social security/Medicare complain about the ACA is beyond me. Without Medicare, the elderly would be screwed!
      Everyone is acting like the younger population is changing America, but it’s the baby boomers. Unfortunately the younger generations are the ones suffering because of the baby boomers inability to elect people who will reign in skyrocketing costs of living and continually refusing to fight conservative corporate lobbying and increase wages. Accounting for inflation, the minimum wage should be around $20/hr. None of the baby boomers care because they are, for the most part, set in a decent job making on $25/hr. Get over the idea that someone can make $20 at McDonalds because without an increase in wages, nothing will change. The corporations are running up serious profit margins and it’s because they’re effecting lobbying against the need to pass anything on to their workers!
      My point is, we’re not in this position because of the administration. It’s because of a war started by the last admin and corporate lobbying.

    • Cato Younger

      @Mattabeedeez Grow up crybaby.

  • bullitt4686

    I can even remember Gallagher (the watermelon smashing comedian) saying ‘Merica in one of his stand – ups back in the early 80’s.

  • madwest

    i’m not a fan of the abbreviation of the word America. it’s a trend, that seems to have stirred up some sort of patriotism. We salute our youth for going to war on foreign lands, and we wave our flag when they drop a bomb on a goat herder, but call me old…and i am, but i was taught that patriotism meant loving your country. Caring about what happens in your own backyard. Voting for the mayor who would pave the roads, the governor who would bring jobs to your state. The leaders whom would uphold the law of the land. Citizens who would work for and with their communities to make them better places, and ONLY when our lives were really threatened would we unite as one and mess up the other guy.

    Maybe i’m just old, but wether you say ‘merica, ‘murica, or America, it should mean something, and not be a hashtag on twitter.

  • Snoopy12

    I’m from Australia, and I always just thought It was bagging out the hillbillies and rednecks.

  • Tool

    Technically America is a continent and not a country. People from Brazil and Canada are “American”. I always thought we should better identify as citizens of this great nation but never heard a good term for US Citizen… Food for thought we could start a great new wave of patriotism, or not…

    • JD

      @Tool No…America is not a continent. NORTH America is a continent. SOUTH America is a continent. Saying America is a continent is the liberals way of saying that illegals are American and not illegal.

  • 17driver

    From what I understand, it’s derived from the pronunciation of “America” by one of the most American groups: southern white trash.  See with all of their mullets, NASCAR and Pabst Blue Ribbon they truly represent what our country was founded on.  People made fun of them by emulating their thick backwoods accents, only to make it more popular than it ever was.  There you have it, by making fun of some poor uneducated hick it is now one of the most patriotic things you can proclaim.  MURICA!!

    • @17driver Well, yeah. That about sums up what I was going to say. I’d have to agree. It is disturbing while being funny.

  • mrmjburton

    In Britain ‘Merica has been around for a good few years and originally started with comedians and impressionists doing routines about George W Bush.

  • Jim

    You are not alone.

  • Michael David

    It’s cool to be a simpleton now. Didn’t you get the memo?

  • Joel

    A better question is, when did it become proper in America to stop speaking English and speak nothing but slang?

  • snow

    In my experience as an American living in England, people here who are using that abbreviation invariably are ridiculing or are highly negative of America. Not an abbreviation I would use.

  • Chris_Webb

    It’s got electrolytes…

  • treebeard

    I’ll be content with saying that I don’t particularly care where it came from, but I don’t use it, nor do I like it.  Admittedly, I have been amused by some memes that use it though.

  • nDjinn

    It’s a from a song by the punk band The Descendants. It’s self deprecation. (and that’s how I use it)

    We flipped our finger to the king of england
    Stole our country from the indians
    With god on our side and guns in our hands
    We took it for our own
    A nation dedicated to liberty
    Justice and equality
    Does it look that way to you?
    It doesn’t look that way to me
    The sickest joke I know
    Listen up man, I’ll tell you who I am
    Just another stupid american
    You don’t wanna listen
    You don’t wanna understand
    So finish up your drink and go home
    I come from the land of Ben Franklin
    Twain and Poe and Walt Whitman
    Otis Redding, Ellington,
    The country that I love
    But it’s a land of the slaves and the ku klux klan
    Haymarket riot and the great depression
    Joe McCarthy, Vietnam
    The sickest joke I know
    I’m proud and ashamed
    Every fourth of july
    You got to know the truth
    Before you say that you got pride
    Now the cops got tanks ’cause the kids got guns
    Shrinks pushin’ pills on everyone
    Cancer from the ocean, cancer from the sun
    Straight to Hell we go

  • nDjinn

    The song ‘Merican came out in 2004 on the album “Cool to be You” by the Descendents. (sorry for my failure to find the edit button on my first post to add the date)

  • Bob

    Today on ITS Tactical – Kids these days and their internet me-mes

  • Read_Love

    I am so strongly in agreement with you!

  • DerekPayton

    I agree with this!

  • sickntired98

    I was told that it started as a reference to American contractors ( previously referred to as mercenaries)  Mericans

  • NewGuy

    My first post here on ITS.  I agree that patriotism isn’t something that you put on the shelf and take down when it’s convenient.  I think the ‘Merica meme came around to make fun of those people who are blind patriots.  The ones that love America so much that they can’t even get it out of their mouth fast enough.  There’s alot of those kind of patriots out there that don’t even know why they are patriotic.  They’re patriots, well, because…’Merica!!!
    I would suggest that the ‘Merica meme is purposely meant to be disrespectful to the CURRENT (not the past or original intended state as prescribed by our founding fathers) state of America and the blind patriots who find the state of our country as acceptable.
    Regardless of your political position, it can’t be denied that the citizens of America are facing a time where our natural born rights and liberties are slowly being eaten away.  And there’s always some cause/emergency/crisis to justify this erosion, isn’t there?. We should be patriots to the idea of rightful liberty and Rule of Law first and then country second and ONLY if country serves the first ideal.

    In the end, people (who actually care) need to ask themselves what’s more important;  the concept of individual liberty and Rule of Law that our country was founded on, or the Stars and Stripes, America, Bald Eagles and Lee Greenwood?  When the latter ceases to represent the former, where do we put our loyalties?

  • RyanSamurai

    WOW, ‘Merica caught on like wildfire and it appears that 90% of the internet doesn’t even know why. Yet they still use the term without really understanding why or where, which just proves my point that the internet is exactly like High School.
    Does anyone remember George Dubbya Bush and the satirical impersonations that were done about him by nearly every entertainment outlet aside from FOX “News”!? I don’t know how anyone could forget, it was back when Trolling was an expression of words or actions used strategically by artisans.
    If I would have truly known that the HS mentality would perpetually continue throughout my adult life, when I was in HS (I’m 34) I may have killed myself. Honestly though, I have learned how to enjoy my life more after I realized how ignorant America can be, it’s entertaining to me as long as I don’t come into direct contact, otherwise it is infuriating.

  • Mactire

    Here in Holland Murica is also used, but more in a mocking kind a way.
    Like when Starbucks brings a new insanely large cup on the market we like to shrug and say ‘Murica’.


    I also cringe when I hear, them say ‘Merica or ‘Murica, because they don’t know where it comes from and I feel they are mocking America, instead of who said it.  George Bush said it originally, and it later caught on, I don’t know why, in the city I think they use it to make fun of rednecks, I don’t like it.

  • Aban1

    I to cringe at this..and I know this will not help that feeling AT ALL. but I figured I would share this with y’all. This is the Urban Dictionary meaning of “Merica” 


  • MCQknight

    Because of South Park, that’s why.

  • wlyster

    “When did ‘Merica Become an Acceptable Way of Saying America?” 
    Don’t know when it became ‘acceptable’, but its earliest known usage that I have found is in 1908. It can be found on page 257 of H.G. Wells’ book “The War in the Air” where one of the “hick” characters (Old Tom) pronounces America, ‘Merica.

    • wlyster Very interesting, thanks for sharing that history!

    • DarbyCReger

      wlyster – I don’t see any real meaning assigned to it, besides being a label for America as a location. ‘Merica could be a natural contraction of America in this instance. The current term ‘Merica may have come about spontaneously without knowledge of a prior usage.

  • Filbert888
    • Kindenver

      Guess it means America is just a shell of the Country we used to be.

    • kevinbealer

      Filbert888  LOL! Ingenious Filbert!

  • Cato Younger

    It’s NOT an acceptable way of saying America.  Its stupid and disrespectful, and is said to make fun of your own country.  Just don’t do it.

    • BrianElliott

      Cato Younger You do realize that america is not a country or has the education system of the united states failed you.

    • Kayr123

      Wow! Don’t hate. Educate.

  • DarbyCReger

    ‘Merica stands for the stupidity of America – what America has become, not what America should be. A parody of the true America.

  • LoganCartee

    Y’all are talking about America being the land of the free. Well what about freedom of speech if people want to say ‘merica or murica why can’t they I don’t know why any American would call another American stupid. Just my opinion

  • RedlineRacer

    It was a redneck joke that got outtta hand

  • MuricaFYeah

    Bro, Do you even have sarcasm in your country?

  • Melyra

    I think using that term is awful.  It shows a huge lack of respect for our great country.  Anyone who used that term loses all credibility with me.

    • BrianElliott

      Melyra america is not a country.

    • Tom Thrasher

      She is referring to the United States of America…… Duh

  • Ben Abelly

    It didn’t. It’s not. It’s people misspelling Mexico.

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