before 1000; (noun) Middle Englishsawe,Old Englishsaga,*sagu; cognate with Dutchzaag,Old Norsesǫg; akin to GermanSäge saw, Latinsecāre to cut (see section), Old Englishseax knife, sax2; (v.) Middle Englishsawen, derivative of the noun
"cutting tool," O.E. sagu, from P.Gmc. *sago "a cutting tool" (cf. O.E. seax "knife," O.N. sõg, Norw. sag, Dan. sav, M.Du. saghe, Du. zaag, O.H.G. saga, Ger. Säge "saw"), from PIE base *sak-/*sek- "to cut" (cf. L. secare "to cut," Rus. sech' "to cut;" see section). The verb is attested from early 13c.; strong conjugation began 15c. on model of draw, etc. Sawbones "surgeon" is 1837 slang; sawdust is 1520s; sawhorse recorded from 1778; sawfish first attested 1660s. The personal name Sawyer is attested from mid-13c. (cf. lawyer). Sawed-off "short, cut short" is attested 1887 of persons, 1898 of shotguns.
"proverb," O.E. sagu "saying, discourse, speech," from P.Gmc. *saga-, *sagon- (cf. M.L.G., M.Du. sage, zage, Ger. sage "legend, fable, saga, myth, tradition," O.N. saga "story, tale, saga") from the root of O.E. secgan "say" (see say).