One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
In Portugal: a villa. In Brazil and other areas of Portuguese influence: a settlement, a village.
Early 17th century. From Portuguese aldeia village (12th cent.; also † aldea; the sense ‘villa, country house’ is apparently not paralleled in Portuguese before 1873) from Arabic al-ḍayʿa from al the + ḍayʿa landed estate, agricultural hamlet, farm, village.
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