Donde is ultimately from a combination of the obsolete adverb onde ("whence" or "from where") and the preposition de . Onde is from Latin VNDE , which also meant "whence" or "from where", and over the centuries it lost the "from" meaning and came to mean just "where". This meant that, to say "whence" or "where from", the preposition de had to be added, and this gave d'onde . The meaning of d'onde once again eroded over time until it came to mean just "where", and prepositions therefore had to be added once more. This gave rise to the modern usage of donde for "where" and a donde for "to where", among others. Note that all this means that, etymologically speaking, de donde is the rather redundant "from from where", and a donde is the rather contradictory "to from where". This tendency goes even further with the vulgar form ande (from adonde ), which is often used to mean "where" as well. In the Ladino dialect of Spanish, the pronoun onde is still used, where donde still means "whence" or "where from", and in Latin America, isolated communities and rural areas retain this as well.
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