Author Topic: Where did the term "Fire Buff" Come From?  (Read 1857 times)

Offline kfd274

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Where did the term "Fire Buff" Come From?
« on: January 08, 2010, 10:06:24 PM »
Courtesy of the Santa Clara Fire Associates:

Where did the term "Fire Buffs" come from?

In the early 1800's, firefighters wore heavy coats made of buffalo hide. These coats, and then the men who wore them, were called 'buffs'. In time, the term came to mean people who are firefighting enthusiasts, collectors of firefighting memorabilia, and those that go to, watch, and photograph fires.


Another take on the origin:

http://www.legeros.com/fire/buff.shtml
« Last Edit: January 08, 2010, 10:10:48 PM by kfd274 »

Nycfire.net

Where did the term "Fire Buff" Come From?
« on: January 08, 2010, 10:06:24 PM »

Offline mack

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Re: Where did the term "Fire Buff" Come From?
« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2010, 10:45:20 PM »
There was another origin that I had heard - the term could also have come from the buff colored uniforms worn by early NYC volunteer fire departments. 

(Oxford English Dictionary)
buff, n.
'An enthusiast about going to fires' (Webster 1934); so called from the buff uniforms worn by volunteer firemen in New York City in former times. Hence gen., an enthusiast or specialist. Chiefly N. Amer. colloq.

also:(World Wide Words)
 "...it allegedly derives from New York volunteer firemen of the early part of last century. They wore buff-coats as a uniform, or heavy buffalo robes as winter wear, and so were known as buffs"

 

anything