Buff is a contraction of buffle or buffalo; and
buff skin is the skin of the buffalo prepared. “To stand in buff” is to stand without clothing in one's bare skin. “To strip to
the buff” is to strip to the skin. The French for “buff” is buffle,
which also means a buffalo.
To stand buff,
also written bluff, meaning firm, without flinching.
Sheridan, in his School for Scandal, ii. 3, says, “That he
should have stood bluff to old bachelor so long, and sink into a
husband at last.” It is a nautical term; a “bluff shore” is one with a
bold and almost perpendicular front. The word buff, a blow or
buffet, may have got confounded with bluff, but without doubt numerous
instances of “buff” can be adduced.
“And for the good old cause stood buff, `Gainst many a bitter kick
Butler: Hudibras's Epitaph.
“I must even stand buff and outface him.” —Fielding.
BUFF in “Blind-man's buff,” the well-known game, is an allusion to
the three buffs or pats which the “blind-man” gets when he has caught
a player. (Norman-French, buffe, a blow; Welsh, paff,
verb, paffio, to thump; our buffet is a little slap.)
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
More on Buff from Fact Monster:
- States: The Fifty States: 1 - Fifty States Quiz Are you a state trivia buff? Try our Fifty States Hangman! Question 1: Which is ...
- Theodore Roosevelt - Theodore Roosevelt Born: Oct. 27, 1858 26th President of the U.S. physical fitness buff who boxed ...
- skylark - skylark skylark, common name for a passerine songbird (Alauda arvensis) famous for the soaring, ...
- David Hasselhoff - David Hasselhoff actor, beefcake, singer Born: 7/17/1952 Birthplace: Baltimore, Maryland Scary ...
- Robert Anton Wilson - Biography of Robert Anton Wilson, Co-author of the Illuminatus! Trilogy