sap

Definitions

General English

Agriculture

  • noun a liquid carrying nutrients which flows inside a plant

Economics

Slang

  • noun a fool, simpleton or dupe. Originally a British term, the word is now more often heard in the USA. It was in origin a shortening of the word ‘sapskull’, meaning wooden-head, dating from the late 17th century. In the 19th century schoolboy swots were known as ‘saps’, from the Latin sapiens (wise or knowledgeable), and this meaning applied ironically may have converged with the older sense of the word.
  • noun a blackjack, cosh. This sense of the word is probably based on sap meaning a hoe or shovel in archaic speech.

Law

  • acronym forSentencing Advisory Panel
    (written as SAP)
  • noun a body which undertakes research on sentencing and advises the Sentencing Guidance Council.

Real Estate

  • acronym forStandard Assessment Procedure
    (written as SAP)
  • noun the UK government’s scheme for assessing the energy rating of properties.

General Science

  • acronym forSpecies Action Plan
    (written as SAP)
  • noun a scheme aimed at protecting species that are at risk by collecting all the available ecological data and listing appropriate conservation actions

Electronics

  • acronym forsecondary audio program
    (written as SAP)
  • acronym forservice access point
    (written as SAP)
  • acronym forService Advertising Protocol
    (written as SAP)
  • A junction that interconnects networks, network layers, or network services.
  • A point where a circuit may be accessed.

Origin & History of “sap”

English has three distinct words sap. The oldest, ‘plant-juice’ (OE), goes back to a prehistoric Germanic *sappam, which also produced German saft ‘juice’. this in turn was a descendant of Indo-European *sapon-, from which came Latin sapa ‘new wine’. Sap ‘undermine’ (16th c.) was borrowed via French saper from Italian zappare, which may have been ultimately of Arabic origin. Its original literal sense ‘dig a trench or tunnel underneath in order to attack’ has now been largely superseded by the metaphorical ‘weaken’, which has been heavily influenced by sap ‘plant-juice’ (from the notion of ‘draining sap from a plant’). The colloquial sap ‘fool’ (19th c.) may be short for an earlier sapskull, a compound formed from sap in the now seldom heard sense ‘sapwood’ – hence ‘wooden head’.
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