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Savia and Sabia

Savia is a very old Italian [feminine singular] word name meaning "wise." It was a medieval augural name, and the masculine form is Savio. It also happens to mean “tree sap” in Spanish. It is not a name that has been used in the U.S.

Sabia comes from the Irish mythology name Sadb, meaning “sweet” in Gaelic. It is also sometimes regarded as another form of the name Sabina, whose meaning (the closest we can guess) is “of one’s own kind.”  Sabine and Sabina are quite well known, with the saints of their name, ancient Roman town and the story of its women to give them historical credibility. Sabine was first seen on 5 girls in the U.S. in 1916, until 2007 when it was finally given to more than 100 girls in a year, but it is hovering now, with 94 girls in 2017. Sabina was more popular and was used since before 1880 and consistently afterward, but now it was given 94 times last year as well. Sabia, on the other hand, was only used 5 times in 1996 and 5 times in 2007.

I have included both in this post because, they sound so similar, and are equally pretty, and because there’s nothing else to say about Savia. Anyone who knows Italian well might want to look into the word savia’s use in Dante: “Savia non fui, avvegna che Sapia / Fosse chiamata.”

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