Using Buffalo Eight Times in a Row is a Complete Sentence

The English language is full of quirks. From eight different ways to pronounce words ending in “ough” to victual being pronounced as “vittel“, the language is full of eccentricities.

Sentences employing the same word over and over are one of the more head-scratching oddities.  These are grammatically correct sentences that use just one word repeatedly.  Once example is:

Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo

The repetition takes advantage of a mix of three distinct meanings while combining verbs and nouns that are all spelled buffalo.  The uppercase Buffalo refers to a proper noun, such as the New York city of Buffalo.  The lower case buffalo has two distinct meanings.  Buffalo is a noun that refers to a large wild ox with large horns (such as the water buffalo).  A buffalo is also known as a bison in North America.  Buffalo is also a verb, meaning to intimidate or baffle.

To help clarify how to interpret the sentence, this illustrative comic by Greg Williams (CC BY 2.5) might shed some light:

 

You may also like...