This is one of those words that never wander through my brain. I don’t think of men as buff. Handsome, well-built, sexy? Buff to me sounds like something you do with Photoshop to make the picture look better in an expensive fashion magazine. Not a really human thing.
But I do think of buff if I’m thinking about wood finishing. Especially which kind of sandpaper or buffing cloth I need to get that wood as silky as I can. I used to do a lot of that sort of thing, before my son grew up and took away all my tools because I was obviously too helpless to do anything involving tools with sharp edges.
These pictures are very buffed!
It’s not that I’m helpless these days, but I am a bit wobbly. It makes clambering up chairs or step ladders — or hauling heavy stuff around — a bit dicey. Nonetheless, carefully hidden in my hall closet, I have a little jigsaw and mini power sander … in case I get an uncontrollable urge to carve a piece of local oak.
I know language changes. As a rule, I change with it because that’s how it goes. I have watched American English drift and I don’t always like the drift, but I go with it anyway. Every now and again, a word is used in a way that simply annoys me.
Buff as a description of the human male? That’s one of them. Unless, of course, he used to be a hunk of wood but has now been properly polished and smoothed to an ultra fine finish!