In Russia, Ukraine and Other Post-soviet Countries
First known “cottages” were built in Russia in 19 century. Emperor's "Cottage" you can see on the right.
A word “cottage” became very popular since late 1980s and was understood just as a nice house in western countries. It was associated with well-being life of western middle-class people, and after the end of soviet era it also is associated with modern well-being life in Russia and CIS. So, now “cottage” means modern western-style, or at least different from typical soviet houses, suburban 1-3 storied house for good quality living or recreation. So, the main thing that differs "cottage" from just a house (rus. "дом") is an association with new modern good quality living, and not with degrading remains of soviet living. And a word “cottage” seems to be only one word to express that meaning. "Cottage" usually is a part of "cottage" complex ("коттеджный посёлок" - “cottage village”, “cottage settlement”) - а complex that includes from several to big quantity of "cottages", usually with objects of infrastructure, built as a whole project. There are economy, business and premium (elite) class “cottages”. They could be called just “houses”, some of them even “mansions”, but these English words didn’t enter Russian language yet.
Cottage settlements are different from "dacha" (дача) areas, which exist since soviet era, consist of large amount (hundreds and maybe thousands) of small typical 600 square meters (0.15 acres) land plots and were designated only for recreation getaways of city dwellers and for growing little gardens, and were extremely popular because soviet people didn’t have an opportunity to buy land and build a house where they want, and had a lack of other opportunities to spend their time and money at all. There were legal size restrictions for dacha houses. They had to be only 1 storied, that's why they often had a tall roof of special form with a roof storey in it, which was considered by authorities as just a big roof, not a second storey. Dacha houses built in late 1980s and later are significantly larger than older ones because legal size restrictions were liberalized, and new dacha areas became fields of relatively big houses on tiny land plots. Now, dacha areas located in good places tend to modernize and develop, others - degrade since the end of soviet era, but can be renovated and modernized later by new generation of owners.
Cottage settlements are separate and different from ordinary (traditional) village (село, деревня), which is old, agrarian, low-cultured, poor and drinking in Russia, and hard-working in Ukraine.
Cottage settlements also differ from "private sectors" (частный сектор) which are old settlements within a city and consist of 1-2 storey houses with small land plots and exist from soviet era.
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