I’ve been reading Saltykov-Shchedrin’s Губернские очерки [Provincial sketches] (1856-57), a now-forgotten work consisting of delightful descriptions of the endemically corrupt town of Krutogorsk (a lightly fictionalized version of Vyatka, where he had spent seven years in exile), and at one point a character mentions a woman who sang “гривуазные песни” like “Un soir a la barrière” (a song which, alas, has been even more thoroughly forgotten, so that I have been unable to find out anything about it). Now, the adjective гривуазный was clearly borrowed from a French grivois, but I was unfamiliar with that word; when I looked it up, I discovered it meant ‘saucy, smutty,’ so the Russian phrase meant ‘smutty songs.’ It’s first recorded in 1690 as a noun, meaning ‘soldier,’ and then in 1696 meaning ‘person of free-and-easy morals’ (« personne de mœurs libres et joyeuses ») — a natural semantic transition, I fear. By 1707 it was an adjective (« très libre, hardi »), and the phrase cited as an example is chansons grivoises, a French equivalent of the Russian phrase that started me off.
But where did grivois itself come from? That turns out to be quite interesting. It’s derived from grive ‘thrush’ (or, in the words of the Trésor de la langue française informatisé, “Oiseau de l’ordre des Passereaux, proche du merle, au plumage blanc et brun, dont la chair est appréciée des gastronomes”), which is from Latin graecus ‘Greek,’ because apparently the Romans thought the thrush, a migratory bird, wintered in Greece. Grive developed, for obscure reasons, the slang sense ‘war; army; corps de garde,’ hence the original sense of grivois. Now, that’s a well-traveled word.