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It may carry the connotation of being an old or old-fashioned building.
In modern usage, a cottage is usually a modest, often cosy dwelling, typically in a rural or semi-rural location.
The word comes from the architecture of England, where it originally referred to a house with ground floor living space and an upper floor of one or more bedrooms fitting under the eaves.
In British English the term now denotes a small dwelling of traditional build, although it can also be applied to modern construction designed to resemble traditional houses ("mock cottages").
Cottages may be detached houses, or terraced, such as those built to house workers in mining villages.
The tied accommodation provided to farm workers was usually a cottage, see cottage garden. The holiday cottage exists in many cultures under different names.
In American English, "cottage" is one term for such holiday homes, although they may also be called a "cabin", "chalet", or even "camp". There are cottage-style dwellings in American cities that were built primarily for the purpose of housing slaves In places such as Canada, "cottage" carries no connotations of size (compare with vicarage or hermitage).
Originally in the Middle Ages, cottages housed agricultural workers and their friends and families. Thus, cottages were smaller peasant units (larger peasant units being called messuages).
Later on, "cottage" might also have denoted a smallholding comprising houses, outbuildings, and supporting farmland or woods.
A cottage, in this sense, would typically include just a few acres of tilled land.