Tag Archives: Word Games

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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