Savvy = Practical, Applied Intelligences

Savvy is practical.

We’re relating in a savvy way when we’re applying what we’ve learned.

Savvy is street-wise.

Growing up all the adults around me focused on my smarts. Yet, I’m a dumb toad compared to AI when it comes to raw smarts. An internet search can give people a vast sampling of different “smarts” far, far beyond what I as a solo brain could ever come up with much less store in my neurons.

Savvy was not a focus. That’s not savvy!

For example, it may be “smart” to see ways the world could be different. “If we only ____, then everything would work better!”

But that ain’t savvy in a world where people have different incentives and aptitudes, and where predators are looking for prey.

Savvy relating means accepting these “unwanted realities” while exploring shrewd ways to be thriving anyway.

While doing no harm? Wouldn’t that be nice!


I’ve been experiencing a lot of this lately.


I’ve noticed you using this word pretty frequently and it always resonates with me…it’s a word I like a lot but don’t use myself. I will start using it.

I enjoy learning the etymology of a word because it often adds a further dimension to it’s meaning and energy for me. I always loved how ‘savvy’ was used in pirate movies and how it reflects it’s actual Latin origins to mean 'do you understand?" Savvy?

And I like your description of it’s usage and meaning…thanks!

As with so many English words, savvy comes from Latin. Its verb sapere means “to be wise or knowing” (think homo sapiens), which yielded savez-vous (“do you know?”) in French and sabe in Spanish (“you know”), said to become savvy in West Indies pidgin language. We get savvy as an adjective by the early 1800s.

Savvy Potc GIF - Savvy Potc Film GIFs


Oooo… thanks. The son-of-a-pirate in me really likes that connection.

It’s feeling like it nourishes my confidence, too. When I think about whether an action was “smart” or not, a whole ton of judgment comes in.

Was it savvy? Ahhh… if it was not, then it feels like an invitation to develop skill, understanding, multi-awareness, and apply that to my choices.

Whereas “smarts” feels… far more programmatic in me.