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Hamlet (place)

A hamlet is a small human settlement. In different jurisdictions and geographies, hamlets may be the size of a town, village or parish, be considered a smaller settlement or subdivision of a larger, or be treated as a satellite entity to a larger settlement. The word and concept of a hamlet have roots in the Anglo-Norman settlement of England, where the old French hemelet came to apply to small human settlements.

The word comes from Anglo-Norman hamelet(t)e, corresponding to Old French hamelet, the diminutive of Old French hamel. This, in turn, is a diminutive of Old French ham, possibly borrowed from Franconian languages. Compare with modern French Hameau, Dutch heem, German Heim, Old English hām and Modern English home.

In Australia a hamlet is a small village. Officially, a hamlet differs from a village in having no commercial premises, but has residences and may have community buildings such as churches and public halls.

In Bangladesh, Hamlet is known as "Para" or "Paara" (Bengali language: পাড়া). A village is divided by more than one "Para". That is the smallest partition of a place in Bangladesh. Each para contains some families, or a group of families.

In Canada's three territories, hamlets are officially designated municipalities. As of January 1, 2010:

In Canada's provinces, hamlets are usually small unincorporated communities within a larger municipality, such as many communities within the single-tier municipalities of Ontario or within Alberta's specialized and rural municipalities.