What is the etymology of the pronoun "usted"? What formal pronouns existed before, and when did the current "usted" come into existence?
- Anybody can ask a question
- Anybody can answer
- The best answers are voted up and rise to the top
Vuestra merced evolved to usted. Vuestra merced is a really antique way to say something like your highness (not literally though).
Usted is derived from "vusted", an archaic shortening of Vuestra Merced, an old Spanish way of saying [lit.] "your mercy" (similar to the honorific "your grace").