December 25, 2011
sage (noun)
\SAYJ\ Hear it!
What does it mean?
1 : a mint with fragrant leaves that is used especially to flavor meat2 : sagebrush
How do you use it?
The house was filled with the savory smells of rosemary, thyme, sage, and the other herbs that flavored Grandma's traditional stuffing recipe.
Are you a word wiz?

"Sage" is the name of an herb, but there is another noun "sage" that means "a very wise person." Which of the following do you think correctly states the relationship between these two words?

You're a word sage if you picked answer B. The two nouns "sage" share spelling and pronunciation, but not word histories. The "sage" that names an herb traces through French to the Latin word "salvia." "Salvia" derives from "salvus," meaning "healthy," a reference to the herb's medicinal uses. The noun "sage" that means "a wise person" derives from the adjective "sage," meaning "wise." It too traces back through French to Latin, but this time to the Latin word "sapere," meaning "to have good taste" or "to be wise."
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