Word Origin & History
O.E. nest "bird's nest, snug retreat," from P.Gmc. *nistaz (cf. M.L.G., M.Du., Ger. nest), from PIE *nizdo- (cf. Skt. nidah "resting place, nest," L. nidus "nest," O.C.S. gnezdo, O.Ir. net, Welsh nyth, Bret. nez "nest"), probably from *ni "down" + *sed- "sit." Used since M.E. in ref. to various accumulations
of things (e.g. a nest of drawers, early 18c.). The verb is O.E. nistan, from P.Gmc. *nistijanan. Nest egg "retirement savings" is from 1700, originally "a real or artificial egg left in a nest to induce the hen to go on laying there" (1606).