means one who puffs out his cheeks, and makes a ridiculous
explosion by causing them suddenly to collapse. This being a standing
trick with clowns, caused the name to be applied to low jesters. The
Italian baffare is “to puff out the cheeks for the purpose of
making an explosion;” our puff. (Italian buffone, a
buffoon; French bouffon.)
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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