To be savvy is to be wise or intelligent, but that's such a strange and non-Germanic word. Where does it come from? The origin is surprisingly interesting: it is most likely from the French question savez-vous?, which literally means "do you know?". Alternately, it could be from Spanish sabe?, with the same translation. Somebody savvy would be somebody who knows- therefore the word. Either way, this goes back to the Latin root sapere, "to be wise". In Proto-Italic, wisdom had a lot to do with discerning, so as sapio, it meant "discern", however you discern tastes, so before that it meant "taste". This is why, as the Proto-Indo-European root sep, the word also meant "taste". Usage of the word savvy has been exponentially increasing since 1980, and, with that, I can conclude that we now know the way.
Adam Aleksic is a 220-month-old, 2800-ounce high school senior with disturbing interests in etymology, vexillology, geography, board games, limericks, and law. Adam will be studying linguistics at Harvard University in the fall.
The Etymology Nerd