[French bee-dawn-veel]
noun, plural bidonvilles [French bee-dawn-veel] .
(especially in France and North Africa) an impoverished shantytown on the outskirts of a city.

1950–55; < French, equivalent to bidon metal drum, can (for oil, etc.) (earlier, five-pint wooden jug; of uncertain origin) + -ville, combining form, in placenames, of ville city < Latin vīlla villa; metal cans are often used as building materials in such towns Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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