"pleasing in taste or smell," c. 1200, savourie, originally figurative and spiritual (of virtues, etc.), from Old French savore "tasty, flavorsome" (Modern French savouré), past participle of savourer "to taste" (see savor (n.)). Of food or drink, "tasteful, flavorful," by late 14c. Related: Savoriness. Savorless "without taste, destitute of flavor" is from late 14c.
aromatic evergreen herb, late 14c. (mid-13c. in surnames), savereie, savory, which is ultimately from Latin satureia "savory (n.)," a foreign word of unknown origin. The Middle English word is perhaps an alteration of Old English sæþerie, which apparently is from an Old French development of the Latin word (compare Old French sarree, and, later, savereie). In either case, the form of the word likely was altered along the way by influence of the Middle English or Old French form of savory (adj.). "As with other plant-names of unobvious meaning, the word has suffered much variation in popular speech" [Century Dictionary].
region and former duchy south of Lake Geneva (now France, before 1860 part of the Kingdom of Sardinia), French Savoie, from Roman Sapaudia, which is of unknown origin. Related: Savoyard "native or inhabitant of Savoy," with French -ard (see -ard). By mid-18c. they were "well known in other countries as musicians itinerating with hurdy-gurdy and monkey" [OED].
1785, slang, "practical sense, intelligence, knowledge of the world;" also a verb, "to know, to understand;" a West Indies pidgin borrowing of French savez(-vous)? "do you know?" or Spanish sabe (usted) "you know," the verb in both from Vulgar Latin *sapere, from Latin sapere "be wise, be knowing" (see sapient). The adjective, of persons, is attested by 1905, from the noun. Related: Savvily; savviness.
[proverb, saying, maxim], Middle English saue, at first in a general sense, "what is said, talk, words," from Old English sagu "saying, discourse, speech, study, tradition, tale," from Proto-Germanic *saga-, *sagon- (source also of Middle Low German, Middle Dutch sage, zage, German Sage "legend, fable, saga, myth, tradition," Old Norse saga "story, tale, saga"), from PIE root *sek(w)- "to say, utter" (see say (v.)).
The surviving specific sense of "proverb, saying, maxim" is by late 13c. "[A] contemptuous term for an expression that is more common than wise" [Century Dictionary].
[toothed cutting tool] Middle English saue, from Old English sagu, from Proto-Germanic *sago "a cutting tool" (source also of Old English seax "knife," Old Norse sög, Norwegian sag, Danish sav, Swedish såg, Middle Dutch saghe, Dutch zaag, Old High German saga, German Säge "saw"), from PIE root *sek- "to cut" (source also of Latin secare "to cut").
In reference to its use as a musical instrument, by 1905. Saw-grass, the long, toothed grass found in the Southern U.S., is attested by 1822. The saw-fly (1773), destructive to plants, is so called for the construction of the insect's egg-depositing organ.