• Usonia

    Pronunciation

    • IPA: /juːˈsoʊniə/

    Origin

    Usona + -ia

    Harvard Art Review, 1969, vol. 3 no. 2 p. 43

    The word is known today primarily due to the writings of Frank Lloyd Wright, who first used it in 1925.

    “The word "Usonia" first appears in Wright's writings in 1925.” (Bruce Brooks Pfeiffer & David Larkin, 1997. Frank Lloyd Wright: Master Builder, page 102)

    However, it was used (and perhaps coined) by James Law in 1903 (see quotation below), before it is thought Wright was exposed to it.

    “It has been suggested that Wright picked up the name Usonia on his first European trip in 1910 when there was talk of calling the U.S.A. 'U-S-O-N-A', to avoid confusion with the new Union of South Africa.” (John Sergeant, 1984. Frank Lloyd Wright's Usonian Houses: The Case for Organic Architecture, p. 16)

    Full definition of Usonia

    Proper noun

    Usonia

    (plural Usonias)
    1. A one-word name for the United States of America that does not have the ambiguity of "America"
      • 1903, James D. Law, Here and There in Two Hemispheres Chapter The Sack of Auchindore, And in Usonia's mighty Lan'—
        What almost seems beyond belief—
        An offshoot of the Irvine clan
        Is honor'd as the nation's chief!

        We of the United States, in justice to Canadians and Mexicans, have no right to use the title " Americans " when referring to matters pertaining exclusively to ourselves. ... I have been inclined to give my vote to the writer that first suggested " Usona," which is formed from the initials of " United States of North America." The assonance of " Usonans," however, has always been distasteful, ... A much more euphonious word is " Usonia," and as it represents in a similar way the " United States of Northern Independent America " ... a dignified name to designate our land, our people and our nation—" Usonia," " Usonian " and " Usonians " sounding equally well. It has also to US Scots the added merit of making a good rhyme to Caledonia, and thus knitting more closely together both Usonians and Caledonians. (dated 18th June, 1903)
      • 1982, Robert Champigny, Sartre and drama, Sartre may have banked on an irritation with Usonia derived from the conviction that, without Usonian troops, France would not have been liberated. Add to this feeling of inferiority the fact, or rumour, that, for a few months, some sacred Parisian bread was made of corn ordered from Usonia instead of wheat, ...
      • 2004, Juan Bruce-Novoa, The United States in Global Contexts: American Studies After 9/11 and Iraq Chapter Twenty years of transatlantic Usonianism, The Berlin Wall's fall and internet's rise inform new readings of America as much as the collapsing Twin Towers and Latinization of Usonia.
    2. Frank Lloyd Wright's utopian vision of the United States
      • 2005, Colin Porteous, Kerr MacGregor, Solar Architecture in Cool Climates, Wright also refers to 'the great Usonian Life, the universal life of our own true democracy' and 'the road to Freedom in Usonia'. The association of USA and utopia is inescapable ...
    3. A community in New York state designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in his Usonian style
      • 2001, Roland Reisley, Frank Lloyd Wright, John Timpane, Usonia, New York, THEY NAMED THEIR COMMUNITY of forty-seven homes near Pleasantville, New York, "Usonia" in homage to Frank Lloyd Wright, whose ideas on the way Americans should live together guided their plan.
    4. (rare) In geopolitical and international economic modeling, a prototype superpower that, in competing with an antagonistic superpower Russonia (the Soviet Union), allows Thirdonia (a hypothetical neutral Third World country) to extract considerable wealth from both.
      • 1964, Albert O. Hirschmann, The Stability of Neutralism: A Geometric Note, Suppose two powerful, industrialized countries, called Usonia and Russonia, compete by mean of capital exports and other forms of "aid" for influence in various underdeveloped countries, typified by Thirdonia.

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