Monday, 23 May 2016

Where does the phrase 'In the Buff' come from?

The first people to be ‘in the buff’ were soldiers because the leather that they wore was made of buffalo hide. It had a pinkish-beige colour much like a white person’s skin. Over time, it switched in meaning to describe anyone who had a lack of clothes on.

Incidentally, ‘buff’ meaning muscled or hunky originated in 1980s California and meant ‘toned or polished’. This is where the verb stems: to 'buff out' a scratch from a car, for example.

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