Some more discussion on the words: Samana, Samani and Savani. Hosabettu Viswanath has pointed out the analogy between the words Samani and Savani. He also cited related surnames like Somani among Gujarathis and frequency of proper names like Soman in Kerala. The Wiki on Shramana provides some additional leads on the word.
Shramana> SamaNa (Pali, Prakrit) means wandering ascetic. The Shramana ascetic wandering movement was founded by Mahavira and Gautama Buddha. The word was apparently used by Buddhists as well as Jains owing to similarity (asceticism) of their faiths. It is opined that the word Samaņas (wandering monks) were more common during the early phase of Buddhism. The word was less used after the Vihara (Buddhist monasteries) were established and the wondering monks preferred to settle down. Related words like Samanera, Samaneri (=novice Buddhists), Sikhamānā (= Buddhist novice nun) were also used.
The Tulu/Kannada word ShikhamaNi may have been influenced by the Buddhist word Shikamānā.
The word Samanaeans was used by Greek philosopher Porphyry (233-305CE).The word Samanis was related to or influenced by the usage Samanaeans or vice versa. Possibly the word Samani was used for nuns.On the other hand, Jain ascetics earlier were usually known as Nighanta.Tamil Jains call themselves Samanar.
The medieval Jains used the word Sravana>Savana more commonly than Samana or Samani. Sravana-belagola is a good example. Savaņur as well as Sāŋur (near Karkala) are derived from the same source.
However, there were no airtight demarcations between the two religions -Buddhism and Jainism-as far as usage of words are concerned as some of the Jain nuns even now have titles like Samani.
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