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it's +1 Now how is THAT for arrogant and single minded?


But seriously I'd think that perhaps it was because of American telegraph/telephone companies making up the international code thing anyway.

I always forget to add it and I try to dial up friends without the international code all the time, I just forget it exists in general, not just for me.

I use a telecom software product from an American company called Verizon.. it's called IOBI and allows you to manage incoming calls from your PC. Anyway, to cut a long story short, this IOBI product does not support international numbers... it doesn't know what the hell to do with +2721555555, for example. It only knows how to deal with 01127215555555 (011 is the international dialling prefix from within the USA)

Note: This is a telecom product developed by an American telecom company...

Also: Most Americans do not really know what SMS is. Most people here think SMS is text messaging. Which it is. But mobile to mobile text messaging is not necessarily SMS. In the USA, many cellphone carriers do not support SMS (that's why I have a work mobile phone and a personal cell phone)

It's 1 ... which should pretty much answer your question about whether that stereotype is unfair. We're number one, nobody else matters, and all that. Unfortunately, some prominent American politicians aren't doing a lot to help disassemble that stereotype.

Love the polls and such!

Lol! Sadly, I actually have met a few Stetson-wearing people like you described.

The international dialing code for the US of A is +1. I can't imagine anyone in the states not knowing that. Heck, I have to dial it all the time just to reach the next town. Sad, sad Americans. =p

NO clue on my country code. Then again, I don't have anyone overseas with whom I communicate via telephone. If I did, I'd know it.

(DH says it's 011..., and I'm sure he's right. Yup, he checked and he's right.)

DH also says that the large, brash, Stetson-wearing, Big Mac eating worldview of Americans is ironic considering our enormous diversity (give us your poor, your tired, your huddled masses...) One in every seven Americans is Hispanic. I live in Los Angeles where that statistic is more like six in every ten is Hispanic. Not offended at that world view of Americans, as what is projected by our media is pretty much as you've described.

On our short street of 18 homes alone we have Japanese, Hispanic, Iraqui Christians, Chinese, and white. I teach 2nd grade and all of my 20 students are Hispanic- they all speak Spanish at home. As a matter of fact, in my 15 years as a teacher, I've only had ONE white student. My son attends preschool where the majority of students are Asian- Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Indian.

Perhaps my USA-view is skewed as I've always lived in port cities (San Francisco and Los Angeles) that historically attract and retain peoples from other cultures.

I was in Iowa a few years back and was surprised to find that the 7-11 convenience store was manned (personed?) by white people. I'd never seen that- every other 7-11 I'd been in was run by Pakistanis or Indians.

We don't take offense to your comic description of an American, it's just a shame that all the other people of America are left out of it.

The US is +1 (how egotistical of us!) with an idd of 011
Mexico is +52 with an idd of 00 and that is where I learned that the US is +1.

I suspect US citizens who leave the country for the first time or have no international friends are shocked that ours is not considered the "default" for everything (language, currency, phone dialing, dvd codes etc) and that even technology differs in different parts of the world. I wish we were taught to be better world citizens, but it tends not to be a priority here.


I am a very intelligent, Non-Stetson wearing, trendy New Yorker. I am cultured. I am educated. I love to learn. AND I HAVE NO FREAKEN CLUE WHAT MY COUNTRY CODE IS!!! I am finding this rather comical. I can't believe that I don't know it.

Thanks for this post T....I am getting a big laugh out of it.

We have a country code???

Actually, I believe the code is 001 (I should know, cause I dial it a lot since I'm far from home right now!)

Americans are friendly and generous (except for New Yorkers, who are rude and brash). Southerners are very friendly and helpful. Midwesterners are solid help-you-when-you're-down types. Californians are happy-go-lucky. There is a lot of diversity in our gigantic nation, but I would have to say that the common trait I see running through all of us is ARROGANCE! Sometimes it's a nasty kind of wait-on-me arrogance, but usually it is more benign than that--more like that of a people who just really has no clue that there is a world out there beyond us. (er . . . some describe New Yorkers that way . . .) We expect everyone to speak English, to understand our ways, to conform to our rules, to buy our products, and to know our international telephone code. Why?



31! You forgot in you're stereotypes the camera on their belly and the fact that they always assume just anybody they speak with in Europe speaks english ;-) even when they speak with a weird accent....


I totally know my +1 code, and I'm even willing to share it with the damn Canadians! How's that for the spirit of American generosity? I just assume that everyone knows that Americans are #1, so they'll know our code. I mean, please. ;)

The North American (at least Canada and the US) code is 1.

And I'm Canadian, eh?


I SO don't know ours. Good point. I have had to call international on business quite a bit throughout my working years too and you're right, they always include the country code. Very interesting! We Americans
are pompous pieces of shit, aren't we? BA HA HA HA

Without reading the previous comments (in case it's been revealed), I will sheepishly admit that although I consider myself to be fairly intelligent, know a bit about international affairs, know where many foreign countries are located, etc., I do NOT know the U.S. international dialing code. To be fair, I do not deal with poeple from other countries on a regular basis, and even in Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean countries, which are the non-U.S. places that I go most frequently, it is not necessary to dial a special code to call the U.S. All these North American countries have 3-digit area codes just like the U.S. and you can dial into the U.S. from them without any other special additional code. I think. When dialing between North American area codes, even within the U.S., it is usually necessary to precede the number by a (1), so perhaps the U.S. code is 1?

That said, I do know that the U.K. code is 44, b/c of having to dial that country on occasion. I could not tell you the international code for any other country.

Now, I will read the previous comments to see if the U.S. code is revealed.

P.S. I am thin, I hate Big Macs, I look stupid in a Stetson & I don't own any cowboy boots. But I think your stereotype of the average American is not only the prevalent one, but based in some degree of truth, like many stereotypes.

Americans are clueless, myself included. We think we invented everything, we're the richest and the smartest. Therefore everyone should envy and emulate us. We are the alpha-group of the world! Let's all get on the phone and talk about that G&D Tertia. Call me.

I just double checked, and I'm right--it is 001.

Ha! I guessed right! Which just goes to show you that although I may be ignorant of certain international protocols, I am at least capable of intelligent reasoning. Innovation! Imagination! That's what makes America great.

Poor Canadians - they too have the +1 country code even though they are MOST DEFINITELY NOT Americans, or even Americanesque.

I am Australian [+61] and we are far more like Americans [shudder] than Canadians are. I have lived in Canada for 8 years now, and I shall be obtaining dual citizenship.

I've never quite understood this, but how exactly do we use our dialing code and idd? If we are in North America (Canadian here) we just dial 1+ (idd of ____ country)+ xxxxx
but if we are outside North America, we would dial the idd of where we are+1+011(NA idd)+xxx xxx xxxx? I've only been off the continent once, and that was 9 years ago when I was 16. I remember I was dialing on a rotary phone and it took so long to get through the numbers, I eventually lost my place and would have to start over.

It's funny that even though we are neighbours, Canadians often make the same generalizations of Americans as others do, although I think our generalizations become slightly more nuanced (cause you know, for us it is really personal. And for goodness sakes, the US is not geographically larger than Canada).

Haha, thats funny...that dialing code thing. You *were* joking weren't you? There aren't really international dialing codes are there?
I really hope not because before your post i had never heard of them. I guess that means i'm an ignorant American. Oh well, at least i know a few of the providences in Canada. hehe.

01 right? I will give you your stereotypes, but in defense of the country code thing I almost never have to dial someone internationally and vice versa. Business may be different though.

As for the stereotpyes, they are unfortunately largely true. I have not traveled extensively, mostly in Europe, but it is quite easy to pick Americans out of a crowd and the amount of ignorance regularly demonstrated by my fellow citizens is embarassing. Here's a great one:

I have a friend with three children that is sort of a know it all. The last time I saw her we somehow happened on the subject of antibiotic resistant bacteria. She railed against doctors overprescribing antibiotics for colds, etc. In the next few mintues she related how her family doctor had prescribed a round of antibiotics for her sister (who is 22 or so) to take with her to on a trip to EUROPE. The sister was instructed that she should take them as a precaution. I did not hide my reaction at hearing this ridiculous tidbit.

Sarah, you meant to say, 'dissemble', didn't you? Or is it 'disassemble'? Ah, heck, now ya'll got me confused.

And for the record, most Japanese don't know their country code, either. So there! :p

Wow, great question. And I'm ashamed to say I don't know the answer. My only excuse is that I don't do any business outside the US... nor have any friends or relatives in Not America.

I'm american.

What's a stetson? I know it has something to do with texas, but I'm not really sure if it's a hat or boots or something else. Hm. Whatever it is, I'm sure I don't like it.

Also, I'm a vegetarian, so no Big Macs for me (though I never ate that nasty mushy meat before I went veg). AND I'm the correct weight for my height (as, apparently, you all have witnessed since I got over 2,000 hits on my breast reduction site when I posted the link here - you're all pervs).

I'm fortunate. Working in academia, especially in my field (one of the hard sciences), I am surrounded by international people. In my lab, there are about 30 members of whom only about 6 are american. Life in that environment is very different than life outside. It gives a lot of different perspectives.

I hate the USAcentric americans. There are a lot of them, as evidenced by the fact that Bush got re-elected, but there are a lot of us who hate that (as evidenced by how close it was). Nothing against you Republicans...but come on...how can I take you seriously when you vote for a guy who can't pronounce nuclear?

I'll be very interested in seeing the rest of these comments. I often wonder exactly how we're perceived.


you got me again T, I come over here expecting to hear about the babies or something and here I am giggling about stetsons and big macs.

I think we are dumb, as a whole.

Hubby is mad. He says we're not dumb. He reads the paper everyday.


It's +1 --- but you're right -- I never give it out when giving a phone number. As far as I know, I've never given my phone number out to anyone outside the US. (I guess we don't deal internationally as much as you do!)

Also, I happen to know that Switzerland's is +41)

HA! I do know it! If I'm out of the country, I dial 011 +1 then the area code and phone number. Otherwise, for all long distance North American calls, we do 1-area code-telephone number. Of course, in some places, long distance is actually just a few miles away, but don't try and convince the phone company of that!

I'm not offended at all by your American generalizations, I can see how we are perceived that way, unfortunately. I abhor Big Macs, but do enjoy the occasional McD's cheeseburger or chicken nuggets. I am severly overweight, but that has more to do w/emotional eating issues than where I'm from. Don't own a stetson, but used to own cowboy boots, however both are prevalently worn here in my state of Oklahoma. Speaking of which, you'd be surprised how generalized people are about my state. When I travel here in the US, and tell people what state I'm from, they assume that there are still cowboys and Indians (Native Americans, not people from India) running around here shooting guns and bows and arrows at each other, and that teepee's are everywhere. It's quite hilarious. Of course, I could do the same for other states, which goes to show how we can all make assumptions, even locally, but most certainly globally.

The only things I knew about SA before your posts on the matter were: there was formerly the practice of aparthied, Nelson Mandella, Dave Matthews, and Charlize Theron were from there, Charles Spencer resided there before his divorce and the death of Di, great white sharks can be found in the waters off your coast, and that there were alot of Dutch settlers there at one point, based on the names of some of the towns, and people's last names. However, thanks to you, my knowledge of your lovely country is growing, and my interest has most definitely been piqued. How good of you to enlighten me! :)

If we're dialing *out* to other countires, we use "011"
If we're dialing back *in* while in another country, we use "001"

Except within North America.

Even though we're one of the richest in the world, Americans rarely travel outside of their "comfort zones - CZ" and therefore know very little of other people/cultures' existence. (CZ being, Mexico/Carribean vacation spots, cruises, etc.) We learn about others through our media and take that as gospel.

61 here in Oz, I also know USA (01) and UK (44) off the top of my head but that is about all.

I read a stat the other day which I hope is wrong, but somehow I don't think so.... only 4% of Americans have a passport - 4 PERCENT! I was flabbergasted.

When I think of Americans I can't help but remember the huge, stetson wearing guy I met in a german museum bitching about how there were no guide leaflets with the American flag on them. There was English, German, French, Dutch etc etc but no USA. Couldn't have anything to do with there being no "American" language now could it??

Okay, I'm only half American. The other half is Panamanian. I remember my Panamanian country code immediately: 507. But the American one... I couldn't remember it until I read the comments and found out it was +1... I was further confused since the Panama country code is three digits and it's a code that's dialed after dialing three *other* digits: 011. When I dial from the US to Panama, it's 011+507+number. (We don't really have area codes in Panama.) When I call from Panama to the US, it's 00+1+(area code)+number.

Having been an international dialer all my life, it's odd to ask this question: what exactly are those first two or three numbers (not the country code ones)?

Phew! V relieved to see there aren't any hate comments. Was v scared I would offend you chaps. Had to come back and check or else I wouldn't be able to sleep.

I think you're absolutely right. Americans, on the whole, tend to be louder & more overweight than the rest of the world. Also more clueless about folks outside their country. We DO see the whole world as "America / Not-America." We are insulated by power & geography. All of this applies to me. I didn't even realize how loud & clueless I was until I did a little traveling.

Well I'd throw botox and silicone into that generalization but we weren't talking about California now, were we?

-CA Native

No problem - it's +972 :).

Now another question is why America gets a cute little ethnocentric one digit country like, say, ONE, and little Israel gets a ridiculous 3-digit number like 972. There's no justice in the world I tell ya'.

(said tongue-in-cheek all my fellow Americans, no need to get offended, I'm a card carrying dual citizen born and raised in American and so can make American jokes with impunity)

No problem - it's +972 :).

Now another question is why America gets a cute little ethnocentric one digit country like, say, ONE, and little Israel gets a ridiculous 3-digit number like 972. There's no justice in the world I tell ya'.

(said tongue-in-cheek all my fellow Americans, no need to get offended, I'm a card carrying dual citizen born and raised in American and so can make American jokes with impunity)

Here you go dahling: Portugal: 00351; Israel: 00972. And I know a few others as well.

Aren't we ab fab, here in Europe's armpit? Quite.

Guilty as charged. American, and I don't have a clue what the number thing is. I hate feeling like an idiot. Jeesh. LOL!

I did not know the code before I read the comments section of this post. But, then, I've also never called anyone outside the US, and have never had to tell anyone outside the US my phone number. Imagine that!

Tertia, I think alot of it has to do with the size of North America. There are eight time zones, two countries and one "country" code - 1. Many people never call "overseas", their family and friends live in North America. Unless you deal with international business, you may not be aware that there are country codes, as well as city (area) codes.

The seven-digit telephone number is also slowly being replaced with the ten-digit number. I do not know how prevelant it is in the US, but in Canada it is becoming more common. I live in a smaller city, that only has a 7-digit number, but Vancouver uses a 10-digit number (604-then 7 numbers) to dial local calls. Very confusing when visiting and you forget. The 10 digit number was introduced because of the rapid growth in cell phones, we are running out of 7 digit numbers...

I completely agree with Louise. Few Americans even call outside of the US, much less venture overseas. As a retiree of a major telecommunications company I could go into excrutiating detail regarding country codes, but I'll stop at this: we had to start somewhere, and since ATT was the first telephone company, and was the primary driver behind international telecom standards, would we have given the US a country code of 3? 9? They chose 1 because we were the first, not because we were or are the best. It was just logical at the time.

Americans traveling overseas often embarras me. Once I was in St. Martin on the US Thanksgiving holiday, and a group of fellow Americans were just amazed that any shops were open - DOH! We are, as a people, unicentric, I'd have to agree. But I think it's more from lack of exposure than purposeful arrogance. Brits think nothing of traveling to SA, or India, or OZ or other places halfway across the world, while Americans mostly vacation here or in adjacent countries. Even Europe seems terribly far to most of us, and it's only 6 hours from our east coast. I was fortunate enough to travel internationally for a living and now do so as often as I can, but I still choose the US first - it's just more convenient and we have so many different geographies to choose from.

No idea.
Thanks for letting me be an honorary woman. I feel strangely light-headed.

Dumb American here. I have no clue. But, I have never called internationally, so that is my excuse as to why I don't know.

I'll admit it, I didn't know it before reading comments! I've never called out of the country (except when calling something like the CC company, but then again I didn't dial an out of country number!!!! so it doesnt count). Tertia, you truly are G&D and Brilliant! God love arrogant americans.

no clue.
i'm proudly canadian, but i live awfully close to the can/us border, so maybe it's 'them' rubbing off on me ;p
just kidding!
i'm a mere peon i mean student, and i have no need to call anyone out of country (hell, out of province even) so i really have no idea. maybe... it's +11? haha just a total random guess.
long distance here we dial 1 first, but that's probably just an in-country standard.
hm. thanks for making me think T! :)

See, I have had to call internationally every once in a while, and I find Europeans often assume you know how to make international phone calls. They'll give you the country code, but not explain that you have to dial "011" first, to indicated you're dialing internationally. (Is that right, is it 011? I haven't done it in a while). I never give out the codes to the country, because A) I don't know them, and B) I assume you don't know them either and are going to have to look up how to place the call anyway.

I think it's just that us Americans don't have to call internationally as much. It's not that we assume you know how to call us, it's we assume no one knows how to call, since we don't know. So who's the person who's all superior now, my foreign friend? ;)

When I travelled, I tended to find that I could spot Americans in a crowd. In general, Americans were:

Dressed in a certain brash, yet casual manner. (jeans, or some comfortable equivalent, with patterns that were not in sync with the locals)
Louder, more emotional, and more casual in speech and body movement. (When talking, but not when in line or boarding a bus, in which case foreigners were much more casual about being in your personal space)
More forceful and personal when meeting strangers. (Except in the case of the Irish, who seemed much more brash and curious.)
And in England and France, Americans were generally taller with better teeth. (sorry guys. Just something I noticed)

I think it would be fun to compare women across countries. There was a great article recently on the differences, culturally, between East German and West German women. I have a friend here from Russia, and we were talking about her being a physicist, and I asked her if she ever felt like she had a hard time becoming a scientist, and she said "Because I'm jewish?" And I said "Uh... no, because you're a woman." And she simply couldn't understand what I was asking her.

She, and her russian friends, act completely differently around men than American women do.


As the wife of an American, I can say that the one and only stereotype I've found to be true almost completely across the board is the LOUD thing. Every American I've ever met seems to have their volume turned up two pips louder than I'm accustomed to here in the UK. And my husband, bless him, often thinks that he's whispering inaudibly in church or lectures, and oh, he really isn't.

You know, I really have no idea! But more because I haven't had much of a reason to know it. When I worked in the business world, I was in an administrative department and provided tech support for my own company (which only had offices in the states). Now, I work as a nurse and can't think of a time that I've needed to give our number out to anyone from another country (even our close neighbor Canada ~ I live in Michigan).

I noticed the first poster said "1", and I'll have say that was my first inclination, since we use 1 in front the area code and 7 digit phone number when dialing out of our own area (and sometimes even within our own area). I have to agree it sounds pretty self-important though. Not surprising, coming us from us Yanks! :)

+1 - 800 - U R N ASSHOLE

Fuck if I know my country code. Stupid, redneck, world-revolves-around-me American here.

I am an American – a very proud one. I don’t think my country is perfect. We have much to learn and more to accomplish. We have many problems. Our present leaders are, in my opinion, headed in the wrong direction with many things, and I console myself with the thought that, as they say, the arc of history is long and bends towards justice. I think the people in your own country are experiencing that now Tertia. Your county too has a very, very long way to go.

Having said that, and acknowledging our lack of perfection, I do firmly believe that the United States remains a shining beacon of hope and freedom. Americans are incredibly generous. We are fantastically blessed with a standard of living enjoyed by few people on earth. People in my country do, still, have a better chance at improving their lives than the people anywhere else on earth. I live in a very expensive, up-scale community. My neighbors are Latino, Black, Asian, Indian, and white. We live together with respect and affection. We rejoice in the diversity that surrounds us.

My ancestors came to this country from poverty and need. They worked hard and watched their children and their children’s children better their lot. America educated my ancestors and gave them a chance for something more. By working hard my husband and I have achieved a standard of living that my grandparents would have found unbelievable. I’m sorry that the rest of the world finds so much about America to hate and dislike. I think they might be better off if they were to take what is good about my country and try to emulate it. Freedom and democracy are wonderful things. You have described quite eloquently the struggles of your own country to begin to achieve the same kind of freedom and democracy that we enjoy here. Some people would say that the “dislike” of Americans is based on jealousy. I’m not sure that I could totally agree with that, but there might be some truth in it.

But really, Tertia, do you truly think that lack of knowledge of an international dialing code is any sort of benchmark to use to judge people? I am sure that those Americans who need to know what our dialing code is, know it. I am just as sure that there are South Africans who do not know their international dialing code number. I hardly think that is an indication of arrogance on the part of those South Africans, or any other people who don’t know their country code. If you want to criticize Americans, feel free, but please use some kind of reasonable standard when you do so.

Well, yeah, I did know it. And my husband knew it. But, I spent summers in Europe, so I had to know it. Plus, my mom was a French teacher, so I had to know it. I'm guessing that those people who had my mother for a teacher these past 30 years also know it. She's doing her part Tertia, I promise!! And this very afternoon I will drill it into my 8 and 6 year old's brains. Perhaps I'll make some highly stimulating black, red, and white blocks with it on them so my 4 month old will learn it as well.

We do eat hamburgers from McD's, but we've never worn stetsons, we don't own cattle, and we're very seldom loud in public. Unless we're having sex. BWA!! I kill me!!! When we travel we do stand out, but only because he's very tall and I'm so damn good looking that I can't help it. (Really, it's a curse. ;))

And as for not traveling out of our borders, there's a lot to do here in North America and it's cheaper usually to get in your car and go than it is to book an international flight. We're not all of us rich, fat and loud, ya know.

When I travel outside the US I dutifully purchase my little phrase books so that I may converse with the natives. I find it's very important to master phrases like, "I am the toilet, please?" and "My husband, she is in need of a goat."

interesting...it's not that I assume you know the international code for me, it's that I didn't know that other people knew/gave out theirs! For ex, I would expect a hotel to give their "local version" of the number and it's up to me to find out the country code later, say in an ad or something.

When I was overseas in Sweden and Finland, I was appalled at the loud, insensitive, annoying, low-class behavior of other Americans that I observed. Going thru the Swedish Royal Palace made me so embarrassed, I kept my mouth shut so people hopefully wouldn't think I was American like the other idiots in there. Honestly, it was horrible and embarrassing.

I worked for 10 years in international sales (I'm an American in America) and none of my customers in Europe, Asia, South America, or the Middle East EVER gave me their international prefix. I had them memorized, or if it was somebody calling who I'd never heard of before, I had to look it up.

Ours is +1, but I didn't give it usually when calling others. The people I worked with knew them, just like I did.

Funny, your stereotype sounds a lot like our current leader, Dubb-ya. I guess not such a generalization.

T- had to laugh - have you been talking to my dh???? This part:

"slightly large, big Mac eating, Stetson-wearing, loud, brash character who thinks the world is divided into two countries ; America, and Not America. World (i.e. Not American) geography not being the strong suit."

That pretty much sums up the old hubby! I got scared for a minute and had to go yank him down off of his horse and turn down the George Strait to see if he knew anyone named Tertia. "What's a Tertia?" was his response!!!! Hee hee!

I'll admit it. Neither my husband or I know the international code for America. I'm sure I'll learn it here once I read the comments though!

Thing is though, unless you've been in another country and then had to call America, how would you know?

I have been to Iran and so I know that our code is 1, but you have to dial an international prefix of 00. However, if we're calling Iran, we dial their country code of 98, and then our international dialing prefix of 011.

I work with cellular phones and I think it's really funny how we've let our cellular techology (CDMA) infiltrate North America, while the rest of the world uses GSM technology. I then wonder if CDMA will ever have a truly global impact. If not, wouldn't it be better to switch over to GSM. I know that there are a couple of companies here that have expanded to GSM technology, but they haven't really embraced it, and their networks consequently suck.

Your Stetson-wearing stereotypical American sounds like most Americans' stereotype of Texans :)

I think you should change your stereotype to include 'unnecessarily self deprecating'.

We live in a very large country with giant oceans on either side. We can call our neighbors to the north using a "1" and the area code + phone number. We don't travel internationally a lot because every other place to be is far, far away and it costs a lot of money to get there (except Mexico). That is fundamentally different than living in Europe where the next country with its unique language, food, architecture and in some cases, currency is a short train ride away. Also, if you look at international corporations the divisions are usually N. America, S. America and EMEA which includes all of Europe, the Middle East and Africa. That is my version of why North Americans don't think about international calling codes.

As for the over sized cowboy hat wearing thing - it certainly describes a certain type of American - especially in the middle of the country. Then there are the health food eating, marathon running, tree hugging, middle aged pinkos like me :-)

Not reading the others so my guess is a clean guess. Seems like somewhere along the way I learned it was 11. Am I right?

If you asked my number I'd give you the ten digits we use to dial here and then would say that I didn't know the international code, but I certainly wouldn't assume you'd know it either.

My guess as to why most Americans wouldn't know the code or think about it is (totally making guesses and assumptions here) that the country is pretty big and there's a lot to see here, so international travel is probably not anything like it would be in a smaller country. I'm in Georgia and we drive to South Carolina, Alabama or Florida for a long weekend without a second thought (all adjacent states), but it just boggles my mind that people in Europe can drive the same distance and visit totally different countries!

0049. (Germany)

I believe it's 01. I do love living in America. Am I bad?

I would also agree with the poster a couple of comments up. America is, in a sense, a bunch of little countries. Each of the states is so different and has its own "culture". Thus the reason alot of Americans just travel within the country.

I have travelled alot overseas, but movies like Brokedown Palace make me want to stay here! Yay Hollywood!


Ooh, one other thing. I think there are just as many people from other countries who think THEIR country is the best. NOT just Americans.

Kind of like the kid on the block who says, "My bike is the best, yours sucks."

But I will agree that lots of Americans couldn't give 2 sh*ts about the rest of the world.

The worst place I've seen it is in southern California.


Haven't read the other replies. But I'm pretty sure mine (Australia) is 61.

By the way, what you said about Australia is totally untrue! Well not the drinking bit, the sheep bit. That is most definately the domain of our next door neighbours - New Zealand!!!!!!!!! Not sure about their dialling code. Why would you call there anyway? ;)

Hi Adelaide,

I do understand what you are saying. However, I think you missed the point. Tertia is actually making a point about sterotypes by poking fun at the American stereotype. She said in her post that this was all a bit of a joke and that she understands its a generalisation.

Look, I live in the USA and I'm not American, and I have to agree with part of the stereotype. A very little bit of it is true. That is how stereotypes start. I'm an actually an Aussie, and I get a real laugh out the typical Aussie stereotype. I play up to it sometimes just to show how ridiculous it is.

So, fear not Adelaide. Tertia is not basing her judgemements and opinions about Americans on the phone number stereotype....we are all just having a bit of fun. Next time, it will probably be apathetic, criminally inclined, wildlife chasing, sexist, hard drinking Australians who get to be in the limelight.

Not trying to deny anything you said, just wondering if it is quite in the right context.


Never talk to anyone overseas. I realized we have one, but I have no idea what it is!

About the person who listed the stat that only 4% of Americans have passports - it probably has more to do with income than culture. There are lots and lots of people who could never afford to travel to Canada, much less across either pond.

Just to clear up a bit of misinformation - N. America has a lot more than 2 countries. It includes the U.S. & Canada, of course, but also Mexico and all the Central American countries. It may also, by some reckonings, include the Caribbean countries as well - although they are islands and thus not part of the N. American continental landmass, the same could be said of the U.K., and I have never heard anyone say that the U.K. wasn't part of Europe.

+61 for Australia

One thing I found unusual in the US was the fact that if you are dialling long distance you need to use the country code - I didn't know this and had huge trouble making a long distance call (this does not apply to cell phones) I think maybe they don't give the country code because it is so automatic for them to use it...

So I'm late jumping in on this. I think someone already said it but...we don't know that type of thing as a general rule because our country is so large (with many of our states dwarfing the size [and population] of other countries). For this reason, especially in business dealings, most calls made by the average American are within our own country. Just one of those things -- if you don't use it regularly, you'll find you have no real reason to know it, making you feel like an utter fool on the (rare) occasions in which you *do* need that information.

Also, Tertia, don't let "Adelaides" ruin your sense of humor. Everyone else knows what your purpose was.

I would guess 011. But I may sound like a fool because that is probably England!

Stetsons? Have you ever seen a show set in NY???? The only NYer wearing a Stetson is The Naked Cowboy...google it.

00297, and I would have given it to you.

44 for my parents and bf in England! 33 for myself in France! 34 for my friend in Spain! 43 for a friend in Vienna! 61 for my brother and cousin in Australia! At this rate I ought to be oh-so-cosmopolitan and sophisticated... ahem.
I'd suggest that the USA being as big as it is, people travel outside its borders less, and have more of their needs met within the country.

Americans are incredibly generous. We are fantastically blessed with a standard of living enjoyed by few people on earth.

Sorry to say, but it is a misconception within the USA that the country is exceptionally generous. That is not the case when viewed in terms of spending power. Read this, which should explain where I am coming from. I would expect the US to be at the top of the list to claim the distinction as being "incredibly" generous. The US has the capacity to do much more good in the world!!

I've lived in England (44) and Australia (61) so I know that the USA is, of course, number 1.


We have a code??

It's "1". . .typical, huh!


Here's another vote for +49 (Hi, Jessica!). Although I'm presently expat in +1 land.

Yay, Jody! You might have been joking but I agree with you. I'm very pleased to be an "ugly American" and am glad I was lucky enough to be born here, even with our country's flaws.

I work in the International Programs office of a small U.S. university, and on Friday last week a faculty member visited me to ask how to call Ghana -- she, like many Americans, has never called outside our country. I know that sounds provincial, but I know that my British in-laws and British husband don't quite understand the scale and expense of travel here, and how isolated we really are from "the rest of the world". I grew up in Nebraska, which is pretty much in the center of the U.S. map, and it took us 9 hours to drive to the other end of the state. When my husband talks about going to France on a school trip it's a bit shocking to me -- my school trips would have had to travel for days before we could have left the United States, and the expense would have been prohibitive.

I would suggest anyone out there interested in the scope and scale of North America read a wonderful book called "The Nine Nations of North America" that suggests (probably to the dismay of many Canadians) that people who live in British Columbia, Canada, and those who live in Washington, USA have more in common than either group does to its fellow citizens on the other side of the continent -- and that the same can be said for border residents on the Mexican/U.S. divide as well.

Sorry, but I have to laugh when Americans say that they are "so far away" from anywhere else and complain of the "long" plane trips (about 12 hrs tops) to Europe. Try living way down south here in Oz (country code +61!) with a 24 hr plane trip to London.

I knew the USA's code b/c hubby and I lived in Mexico briefly.

I think a lot of the stereotype of Americans comes from who is president at the time. I never heard of Americans being thought of as cowboys when Clinton was in office.

Of course I want to know more about SA. I want to know more about all other countries. But I love America, just as you love SA, and don't want to live anywhere else.

I DID know the US code strangely enough. And I don't think it's really fair to say such things about the resident shrub as the cartoon American...though I'm sure that would be how we are seen ::sigh::

I believe it's 011 for America. Actually, the only country code I'm certain of is that of the UK. This is because in my job I maintain the address logos for our products, and one of our main headquarters is in Luton, Great Britain.

Actually, your assessment of the "average" American is probably correct. I live in a small, resort coastal college town that is by no means representative. I think the majority of the people in each of the "RED" (Bush-supporting) states think of the themselves as the rightious center of the universe, and the rest of the world (including the BLUE, non-Bush states) as unpatriotic Jesus-hating terrorist commies.

Actually, I read that only 9 percent of Americans have passports. We just don't travel as much as Europeans (smaller countries that are geographically 'more attractive' (i.e., closer).

I know the country codes for Japan, the UK (England), and French Polynesia. I only know them because I've traveled to and from these locations.

We're planning our yearly "we refuse to spend our precious holiday visiting family and staying on a rollaway bed and eating food and having to say grace (pray) to a god we don't believe in" holiday. We're considering Austria. I'll learn that country code when I call home to wish my parents a happy holiday.

I am *so* busted! I have no clue. Although I think if I had read the comments I would know by now, I just didn't want to cheat, I'll have to check it out.

Also, I think if you asked me for my number I would probably have given you the 10 digit part that I know and then casually mention that there must be some sort of code for the country but I don't know what it is. And aren't there city codes as well?

See, I just don't know how that translates. If you are in Europe or SA, do you have to dial a country code and a city code before you call other countries in Europe and SA? It's all very confusing.

i am hanging out in Cancun. mexico.

to call home on my cell phone I dial 001-xxx-xxxxxxx.


I guess the code is +1 or +001.

mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm, noo, I don't know. But I don't have anyone I know or call for family, business or pleasure outside of u.s. a.

1 ? I am a Canadian and sadly we too have our own (but similar) US stereotypes. Many of us had high hopes for the country. And then Bush got re-elected...

That said, I have 'met' so many fantastic people from the US which is why that election result was so baffling. Everyone I 'know' was sick with the results.

One thing that gets me? Is how the US is refered to as "America". As someone who also lives in NORTH America the term always miff's me. And so should it to those in the SOUTH Americas. Who made them the almighty!? ;)

Okay, now that I've read some comments (whew!)

I have to say thank you Sweetisu for clearing this up for me, I thought there was a 011 in there but I really wasn't sure. Of course everyone in North America knows you have to dial 1 before you dial the rest of a "long distance" number. But it never occured to me that this was our actual "country code" I just thought we had to dial one to get a long distance line or something. What can I say, my international travel has been limited to Canada thus far.

I was in Atlanta last summer and I was surprised to see that they are using the 10-digit numbers all the time. That would take some getting used to.

Tertia, I think your view of most Americans is sadly correct, however I was delighted to read Lisa's comments about the multi-cultural nature of her LA neighborhood. I agree, Lisa, when I lived in Washington State even it was completely different from where I grew up in the midwest. It's such a huge country, you can't really generalize about us, but I'm sure you'll find both assholes and kindness wherever you go.

Aside to Megan re the Nine Nations, OMG, I thought I was the only person in the world who had read that! We need a new edition for the 21st Century, don't you think?

Tertia, this has been a fascinating discussion, thank you for instigating it!

Ours (the US) is 1, Cosat Rica is 506, Ecuador is 593 and the UK is 44.

And Callie, I would disagree with your characterization of North America as including Central America and the Caribbean. North America is generally understood to be Canada, Mexico and the US (i.e. the NAFTA countries) and Central America is, well, CENTRAL America. (Likewise, everything south of Panama is South America.) The Caribbean is also considered a distinct region. I spent several years working on hemispheric issues (and one living in South America), and this is the consensus view of how things break down.

As for Tertia's stereotype of Americans, I think that most Americans who have traveled overseas (1) have encountered it before and (2) understand where it comes from when they meet OTHER Americans traveling abroad! It gets under my skin every once in a while, but I take comfort from the fact that we can play the same game with others. British? Bad teeth, big drinkers, and excessively formal. Argentines? Arrogant, beef-eating tango dancers who are always late. Germans? If ya'll think AMERICANS are loud, you ought to spend a single night in a youth hostel where a group of Germans are staying... See? Stereotypes can be fun (if done in good humor, of course)!

Oh, man, I knew I should have previewed before I tried using that bold tag, sorry, T! That was only supposed to be around a few words.

+1 I also know the Ukranian code is +380 and Canada is also +1 (I believe it's so that calls between the US and Canada aren't charged international rates.)

I think most Americans know what the code is (we have to dial it to make any out of area calls.) I just don't think they know it is a country code.

I'm pretty sure it is 1. I have only made like, one international call so thats not something that comes to mind for me often.

Regarding your ideas of other countries, we're not on the same mindset. You're right about the American stereotype (except the Stetsons...we all wear Nikes! HA!) but I thought the brits were more known for their noses and teeth.

(Hides before someone shoots the messenger.)

This has already been said before, but if many of my friends are any indication of the average American citizen, then on average, most of us have never travelled outside of the U.S., except maybe to Tijuana, Mexico for Spring Break in college. Some friends have never been outside of California, or the Western States. The same goes for my East Coast friends, many of whom seem to stay close to their "home state".

This may be odd to the rest of the world, as it seems to be easier to travel outside of your country, particularly in Europe, but travelling WITHIN the U.S. is really expensive and going abroad is obviously even more so. It's not that we don't WANT to travel abroad ... it's simply cost prohibitive oftentimes. That being the case, we can be a bit daft when it comes to stuff going on outside our borders. It's not an excuse ... I think it's everyone's responsibility as a global citizen to make themselves aware of what's going on in the world. Still, when you've never stepped foot outside of your country's borders, and either have your friends or family, your international country code doesn't have much meaning to you.

I had absolutely no idea! I don't know anyone outside of this country who would even call me, so I think I had justifiable reason not to. In my own mind anyway. :)

I buzzed past all comments so I wouldn't cheat. I THINK the code for the US is 00 or 01. I honestly don't know. And no, I would not have given you my number, or even thought to. Because I can count the number of times I have called outside the country on one hand (and one of them was to a bank in SA while I was working at a credit reporting agency - it was very exciting). I have friends outside of the country, but alas, have never phoned them. Too expensive! We chat online. I even used to have frequent voice chats over the internet with a friend from Australia.

So that's why I don't think about international dialing codes. I think you forgot a big part of the American stereotype - we're all supposed to have lots and lots of guns! :)

International dialing code... Never heard of such a thing... Seriously... Of course, I rarely dial outside the city, much less outside the country.


Learn something new every day!



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