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It seems that in old Spanish dictionaries, the word adrianes is translated as "Nids de Pie":

Adrianes, Nids de Pie. Palet, 1604

This is taken from the Palet dictionary, published in 1604. Other authors have also included this literal meaning in their dictionaries, such as Vittori in 1609 ("nido di gazza"), Stevens in 1706 ("magpies nests") and even reaching Spanish dictionaries in the 19th century including the one from the Royal Spanish Academy, but that meaning was recently removed from that dictionary.

The thing is, I can't find any Spanish text with the word adrianes used in that context. But I have found that the word nid-de-pie (or nids-de-pie) has the following meanings:

Retranchement établi par l'assaillant sur une brèche, afin de s'y maintenir (XVIe-XVIIe s.).
Poste d'observation placé assez haut sur le premier mât de certains bâtiments et où se tient l'homme de vigie.

So it seems that the word nids-de-pie could have been used at least as "entrenchment" in the 17th century, and maybe also as "observation point". So my question is, could that word have been used in that dictionary from 1604 in a sense different from the literal one? When did nid-de-pie begin to be used with the sense of "lookout point"? Could doctor Jean Palet have referred to an entrenchent or an observation point, rather than to a magpie's nest?

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  • What does "adrianes" mean? I can't find it on the internet. – XouDo May 4 at 13:02
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    I suspect you already know it but just in case, there is a deep analysis around nids-de-pies and Adriánes here: Voces internacionales en dos direcciones – jlliagre May 4 at 13:03
  • @XouDo you can only find it in old dictionaries with the meanings described in the question. Nowadays it is only registered as adrián with the meaning of "bunion". – Charlie May 4 at 13:05
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    @jlliagre I did not know that document, but judging by what I can read (the document is incomplete) the author had the same question as I have. You can read the complete document here. It seems that the meaning of "nids de pie" was "bunion", so there is the answer to my question. – Charlie May 4 at 13:14
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Regarding the alternate translation of adrianes,

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it is interesting to note that durillon, cor aux pieds also used to be called agacins and that this noun derives from agace, a former regional name for pie (eng: magpie, spa: urraca).

This agacin was also called œil d'agacin (now œil de perdrix), an expression that comes from the 7th century Latin oculus pullinus (œil de poule) with the same meaning.

Finally, in the book 6 of his History of Animals, Aristotle talk about Adria's hens and a comment in Barthélémy Saint-Hilaire's French translation states that these hens were sometimes called adrianes, which might close the loop…

Les poules d'Adria. Elles sont encore citées dans ce passage du Traité de la Génération, pour leur fécondité et leur petitesse, Les manuscrits sont en général d'accord sur le nom de ces poules pour les appeler adjectivement Adrianiquee; quelques éditeurs les appellent Adrianes. Adria était le nom de deux villes en Italie, l'une à l'embouchure du Pô, et qui a donné sans doute son nom à la mer Adriatique; l'autre, dans le Picénum. Il est probable qu'il s'agit ici de l'une des deux.

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  • C'est intéressant. Donc on aurait Adrianes qui serait un raccourci pour œil d'adriane de sens équivalent à œil de poule (à une époque où les poule d'Adria devait être très répandues, donc), lui même équivalent à l’œil de perdrix d'aujourd'hui. Le passage d'oeil à nid est moins évident à comprendre. – XouDo May 5 at 14:34
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    @XouDo Le document en espagnol Voces internacionales a dos direcciones émet l'hypothèse d'un passage d' œil à nid par proximité phonétique, en particulier dans le parler de Wallonie ou d'autres régions où agache se disait pour pie. Voir par exemple fr.glosbe.com/wa/fr/iy. Il faut sûrement le faire précéder de l'article indéfini pour expliquer la migration de son N final vers œil (un œil → un nœil → un nid). – jlliagre May 5 at 22:47
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Littré has a military term "Nid de pie" described as follows (no date)

Terme militaire. Nid de pie, genre de logement d'où l'on peut tirer sans se découvrir, et que l'assiégeant construit dans un ouvrage dont il s'est rendu maître.

On the other hand, Cnrtl cites it as a maritime term (1851) :

Nid de corbeau, de pie. Poste d'observation, situé en haut du mât avant de certains navires, où se poste l'homme de vigie

www.lalanguefrancaise.com has another totally unrelated maritime meaning for it :

Terme de marine. Nid de pie, petit sac en filet contenant les outils des ouvriers qui travaillent au grément du bord.

Larousse you mentioned has both meanings and a date for the military one :

  • Retranchement établi par l'assaillant sur une brèche, afin de s'y maintenir (xvie-xviie s.)
  • Poste d'observation placé assez haut sur le premier mât de certains bâtiments et où se tient l'homme de vigie.

Interestingly, the military term in Larousse does not include the notion of "height" so it has little in common with the other definition. It could be related to the animal's supposed treacherous behaviour (setting up one's nest on someone else's property = fortifying a conquered part of someone else's castle?). In this case the two sayings could have a completely separate origin.

The other possibility, as the military term seems to be older could be an evolution in the meaning, leading to the maritime term.

As for the dates, 1604 fits prefectly within the XVI-XVII centuries of the Larousse's military definition, but one can't be sure it included the notion of "Observation point" as it could be more recent.

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