Who are you trying to buffalo?

Last week someone resurrected this old post on Custer State Park to challenge my description of these woolly critters as buffalo instead of bison. My recollection is that here in the States, the American Bison is also called the American Buffalo. The following photo is a buffalo nickel, after all. So while it is technically true that these aren’t buffalo, we do use the names interchangeable in the U.S. And that is important, as you’ll see in a moment.

In confirming my recollection, I discovered something far more interesting. The scientific name for these creatures is actually Bison bison. A sub-species even goes by the name Bison bison bison. Why is this interesting? Because it allows us to construct a grammatically correct nine word sentence using just a single word. If we imagine a herd of plains bison living in a certain city of western New York who deceive some of their brethren, then we have the following:

Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo.

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7 Comments on “Who are you trying to buffalo?”

  1. customtripplanning April 24, 2012 at 1:15 pm #

    I think you had something interesting to drink before you wrote this. LOL


    • Brian April 24, 2012 at 4:56 pm #

      Oh, we’re always having something interesting to drink. 😉


  2. REWahoo April 27, 2012 at 11:59 am #

    “Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo.”

    I think you’re trying to flummox us…


    • Brian April 27, 2012 at 12:37 pm #

      Most definitely. I notice now that one buffalo is missing a capital “B”. I can see how that might make the sentence a bit hard to read.


  3. Atari April 30, 2012 at 6:02 pm #



    • Atari April 30, 2012 at 6:02 pm #

      wait…wrong animal….


    • Brian April 30, 2012 at 6:51 pm #

      Badger, badger, badger . . .


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