Why do British call Europe 'the continent' but USA the 'Neighbour across the pond'?

esotericstory
You can see the White Cliffs of Dover from Pas De Calais France on a clear day with binoculars, but you can't see Britain from the USA. Clearly the USA is much father than 'the continent'.
Why do British call Europe 'the continent' but USA the 'Neighbour across the pond'?
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