I have encountered in the transcription of a text

nous tiendra lien

but is it not

nous tiendra lieu ?

Does "nous tiendra lien" have a sense?

  • Can you paste the whole sentence ? Without that, it is impossible to give a relevant answer.
    – Greg
    Commented Jun 19, 2020 at 4:10
  • @Greg I have a feeling that "nous tiendra lien" may be an archaic locution. google.com/…
    – Dimitris
    Commented Jun 19, 2020 at 6:57
  • 3
    @Dimitris: most of those hits in Google seem to be OCR mistakes for tiendra lieu. Commented Jun 19, 2020 at 10:07
  • Correct, those are OCR mistakes. The original is "nous tiendra lieu" (you can see it in the original text).
    – Jonathan
    Commented Jun 19, 2020 at 11:17
  • Minims are often a factor in transcription errors. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minim_(palaeography)#/media/…
    – livresque
    Commented Jun 20, 2020 at 0:50

2 Answers 2


"Nous tiendra lien" does not have any sense in our current French. I checked some document and I did not see "Nous tiendra lien"; maybe it's archaic French, but I don't think so.

  • 2
    Welcome to FSE. I edited your answer. Attention we write French, English, etc. (contrary to français, anglais, etc). Also, first personal pronoun ('je') is written with capital 'I'. When one writes contracted forms, e.g. for do not, there is need of an apostrophe. That is, don't.
    – Dimitris
    Commented Jun 19, 2020 at 10:14

After querying a perfect matching search, we can find this book that uses something looking like a really old French.

Sermons pour tous les jours du caresme (looks like a religious book)

I think I could be used like 'nous retiendrons ...' or 'nous observons', I don't know an English translation that is really accurate but I think It might be 'we observe (something)' and 'we will mind(?) (something) ...'

but in this one :

Le Poète supposé, ou les Préparatifs de fête : comédie en trois actes (a theatre piece I guess)

it's more like 'notre coeur nous en dira(?)' or (very long one) 'écoutons notre coeur, il saura nous guider'. so I think it really depends on the context.

But since it seems to be really old French it is kind difficult to find a modern equivalent. If someone knows an Old French specialist, it could be interesting to ask him the 'now a days' equivalent of it.


I really think it's like saying something.

Lafontaine, Le Corbeau et le Renard (the crawl and the fox) 1668 (the complete text)

The fox 'tint (...) ce language' (say something) to the Craw

, and in the first book

Antoine Michaelis Sermons pour tous les jours du caresme 1677 (source)

Chrysostome(?) 'tiendra lien' (remark) "d'une infinité Docteurs que je pourrais citer" (an infinite amount of Doctors that 'I' could list)

  • I've just thought something, 'nous tiendra lien' and especially 'nous tiendra' may be better known as 'lui tint (à peu près ce language)' from Lafontaine Le corbeau et le Renard, so it might actually be my second guess Commented Jun 21, 2020 at 20:43

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