December 28, 2018
buff (noun)
\BUFF\ Hear it!
What does it mean?
1 : an orange yellow2 : a device (as a stick or wheel) with a soft absorbent surface for applying polishing material3 : fan, enthusiast
How do you use it?
"Rendered complete by drab pantaloons and a buff waistcoat, I thought Mr. Barkis a phenomenon of respectability." (Charles Dickens, _David Copperfield_)
Are you a word wiz?

Dust off your thinking cap and guess which one of the following items played a role in the formation of our word "buff."

You're a word history buff if you chose A! "Buff" entered English in the late 1500s, deriving from Middle French "buffle," meaning "wild ox," itself from Old Italian "bufalo." "Buff" originally referred to buffalo or to the whitish-yellow leather made of buffalo hide. By the 1800s, that whitish-yellow color became known as "buff," as did a device covered with leather for polishing metal. By the early 1900s, folks began calling anyone who enjoyed watching fires a "buff," probably alluding to the buff colored uniform of New York City volunteer firemen. This sense of "buff" was later broadened to mean any fan or enthusiast.
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