I'm not a native speaker of English. I wish to know what the word savvy means in this context:


3 Answers 3


Savvy in this context refers to someone who has some practical knowledge of networks. See for instance this definition.

I personally really like this word, and it has been my experience that computer techs use it a lot behind the scenes to describe whether or not a user can receive instruction. For instance,

Is he computer-savvy or am I going to have to go down there and turn on his computer myself?

Also used to query for depth of knowledge

How network-savvy is she? Do you think she would know how to ping her server?

  • I found this word reading and old Java programming language features doc. So in that is written: Java is network-savvy but because it's not a person how can I interpret well?
    – xdevel2000
    Commented May 19, 2011 at 14:01
  • 2
    @josh Probably in that context it means "Java has useful network-communication-related programming libraries"
    – BradC
    Commented May 19, 2011 at 14:06
  • @BradC, yes it seems the more likely meaning. Thanks.
    – xdevel2000
    Commented May 19, 2011 at 14:13
  • @xdevel2000 Yes, BradC has the right idea. If you're not talking about a person, then "savvy" would still indicate that whatever it is (in this case Java) understands networks. The most sensible way to interpret that would be as @BradC suggested.
    – Kit Z. Fox
    Commented May 19, 2011 at 15:16

'X-savvy' means well-versed in the intricacies of X, or knows a lot about X.

It can be used stand-alone, as in "That person is very savvy about political conspiracies"

It comes from the French 'savoir' - to know how.

It can also be used as a verb 'Do you savvy?' of 'Savvy?' meaning 'Do you understand?' (it sounds very 'Pirates of the Caribbean')

  • Ahh, yes. Pirate-savvy use of savvy. See for comparison Gangster use of Capice, although I think the response to "Capice?" should be "Capisco."
    – Kit Z. Fox
    Commented May 19, 2011 at 15:13
  • Etymonline also cites the Spanish "sabe" as a possible origin. I'm inclined to think the verb-form came first, as "Savez-vous?" degenerates to "Savvy?" in a very obvious way.
    – user1579
    Commented May 19, 2011 at 17:31

It's used to denote familiarity and experience with a particular field.

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