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In Plymouth, and other areas of Devon, it is common to suffix the question "where's that?" with to.

e.g.

Steve: I'm off to see Rita.

Dave: Oh yeah? Where's Rita to?

or

Steve: I'm off to Roborough

Dave: Where's that to?

Is there an origins story for this construction?

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1 Answer 1

up vote 5 down vote accepted

The OED, s.v. "to", meaning A.4.a, says

a. Expressing simple position: At, in (a place, also fig. a condition, etc.). Cf. German zu Berlin, zu hause. Now only dial. and U.S. colloq. Cf. home n.1 and adj. Phrases 1e.

It gives examples from 925 to 1977, including this from 1899:

In Somerset‥it is correct to say ‘I bought this to Taunton’.

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I didn't realise it was such an old idiom. Thanks! –  Matt Эллен May 4 '11 at 19:12
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