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Philip Newton wrote:
> On Thu, Nov 12, 2009 at 09:39, Jim Henry <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>> On Wed, Nov 11, 2009 at 1:57 PM, Tony Harris <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>>> One interesting one, tying in with the USA thread title, is the Esperanto
>>> word for the USA: Usono, which I understand is from United States Of
>>> North-America plus the -o of Esperanto nouns.  Although it could also be
>>> from the Esperanto names of the letters: U So No.
>> My understanding is that the etymology of "Usono" is uncertain, but
>> that's a good guess.  Last I heard, no one had found a citation
>> earlier than Zamenhof's 1910 speech at the Universala Kongreso in
>> Washington DC, and there he uses the term without explaining it.
> 
> Shouldn't it really be Uŝono, from Unuiĝintaj _Ŝ_tatoj de Nord-ameriko?


Yes, except that I think it's said to be from the English I quoted, not 
from the Esperanto.  Very strange word, but it's the accepted word for 
the US.  And building off it, you have usona (adj. American, as in from 
the US, like the Spanish estadounidiense), and usonano (n. an American 
(person)).

I've heard the etymology I quoted more than once, but always informally 
(as in, not specifying it as an etymology, just explaining the word, and 
am not sure of the origin of that explanation.  So Jim's comment about 
it being uncertain and unexplained also makes sense.