tech-savvy (adjective)


  • to have a good understanding or proficiency in modern technology.
  • possessing a comprehensive understanding of current technology and its applications.
  • proficient in the use of technology, especially computers, smartphones, and the internet.
  • demonstrating an enthusiastic and skilled approach to using technological devices, software, etc.

Example Sentences

  1. The new hire is very tech-savvy; she quickly adapted to our complex software systems.
  2. He’s tech-savvy enough to troubleshoot most computer problems on his own.
  3. Tech-savvy teenagers often help their parents set up new electronic devices.
  4. Grandpa Joe is incredibly tech-savvy, easily navigating the latest smartphones and smart home devices.
  5. The new intern impressed everyone with her tech savvy, quickly resolving internet network problems that stumped the senior staff.
  6. We are looking for a tech-savvy individual to manage our social media platforms and digital marketing campaigns.

Origin and History

“Tech savvy” is an idiom born out of the convergence of technological progress and the need for practical knowledge when using these advancements. It represents a blend of historical linguistic evolution and modern cultural trends, encapsulating the skills and adaptability required to thrive in a digital world.

The phrase “tech savvy” has become a ubiquitous part of our modern lexicon, particularly in the context of our increasingly digital world. To understand its origins, we need to dissect the two components of the phrase: “tech” and “savvy.”

Etymology and Historical Background

The term “tech” is a shorthand for “technology,” which itself is derived from the Greek word “technologia” (τέχνη – techne, meaning “art, skill, or craft” and -λογία – logia, meaning “study or discourse”). The abbreviation “tech” became popular in the mid-20th century, paralleling the rapid advancements in technological innovations and their integration into everyday life.

The word “savvy” has a more colorful history. It originates from West Indies pidgin English, influenced by the Portuguese word “sabe” (to know) and the French phrase “savez-vous” (do you know?). Around the 18th century, English first recorded it, signifying shrewdness or practical knowledge.

The Emergence of “Tech Savvy”

Combining “tech” and “savvy” into “tech savvy” likely emerged in the late 20th century, as digital technologies began to permeate various aspects of daily life. The phrase was used to describe individuals who were not just familiar with technology but adept at using and understanding it effectively. This period saw the rise of personal computers, the internet, and subsequently, mobile devices, which necessitated a new vocabulary to describe proficiency in these areas.

Early Usage

The term “tech savvy” started appearing in print in the 1980s and 1990s, reflecting the growing importance of technology skills. In 1984, BusinessWeek mentioned “tech-savvy” in the context of business schools, recognizing the need to teach technology-related skills alongside traditional business education.

Modern Context

In contemporary usage, “tech savvy” describes a person’s adeptness with modern technology, encompassing a broad range of skills from basic computer literacy to advanced knowledge of digital tools and platforms. It is often associated with younger generations, particularly “digital natives” who grew up immersed in technology.

Cultural Impact and Usage

The phrase “tech savvy” refers to broader social changes caused by technological advancements. As our dependence on technology grows, so does the value placed on individuals who can navigate and leverage these tools effectively. The phrase has found its way into various domains, from job descriptions and educational settings to everyday conversation, emphasizing its relevance across different contexts.

The rise of idioms like “tech savvy” highlights our collective fascination with technology and its impact on our lives. This underscores the shift towards a knowledge-based economy, where technical proficiency becomes increasingly essential.

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