buff (muscular)

Discuss word origins and meanings.
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buff (muscular)

Post by Jon in Austin » Thu Mar 16, 2006 6:18 pm

I wondered about when this word came into widespread use. I myself didn't hear it till the late 80s. I read Leif Thorvaldson's 2004 post about the etymology of "buff", but it didn't address this usage. I read something by a professional body builder that said in the inner sanctum, the word was "buff." People who say "buffed," as if it were a participle, are pegged as wannabes. Anybody know what was the first dictionary to list "buff" as such?
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buff (muscular)

Post by tony h » Tue Mar 21, 2006 3:03 pm

Not quite sure but here is a suggestion.

"In the buff" is to be nude. Buffed is polished (like a piece of furniture). Muscle men (and ladies) annoint themselves with (I believe) oil in order to show off their muscles.

So maybe the lack of clothes or the polished look of a body-builders body may be the cause of the expression.
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Signature: tony

I'm puzzled therefore I think.

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