One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
(A) A person of mixed Portuguese and Brazilian Indian descent, especially one who was among the explorers or settlers of the hinterlands of southern Brazil. Chiefly historical. (b) A native or inhabitant of the city or province of São Paulo in southern Brazil.
Early 19th century; earliest use found in Robert Southey (1774–1843), poet and reviewer. From Brazilian Portuguese Paulista inhabitant of the city or province of São Paulo from Paulo (in the name of the city of São Paulo) + -ista.
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