Men are not buff. Wood can be buffed and sometimes, very beautifully!

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!

37 thoughts on “BUFF IS FOR CARPENTRY”

      1. I have some furniture (not quite antique) will be when I die, lol, but I buff it too and I’ve done quite a bit of furniture restoration and I love the buffing part, that honest silky finish that makes it all worth while! And no, I don’t think a man’s body is “buff” and what’s more, I can’t wrap my head around strip clubs for women…men are viseral, women aren’t. Normally a naked man’s body doesn’t turn women on, it’s the opposite. People are so easily brainwashed!


        1. I thought I was the only one who felt that way. I actually think most people, male AND female, look better with some clothing. Like the difference between the raw sex of porn films and the veiled sex of romantic movies. But men are wired differently. They just are. It isn’t culture. It’s DNA.


      1. I always thought the word referred to a “polishing” stage for wood, car finishes, jewelry and such stuff. Maybe it’s the word/name “Biff” we are thinking of.., a typical waspy prep school name for the rich, school bully 🙂


            1. Let me rephrase that. If I say ‘She’s ‘in the pink,‘ it wouldn’t mean the same thing as if I said “She is pink,” right? So saying “He’s in the buff” meaning he’s naked doesn’t mean the same thing as “He’s buff.” They aren’t the same word. But you knew that.

              Anyway, it’s not important. The language is going where it’s going. No one is waiting for my approval. So many words have become nouns that were verbs and adjectives that were nouns … and the whole concept of “correct grammar” has more or less disappeared, so what’s one more word more or less? There was a time when this stuff really mattered to people like me. We were editors, so the placement of a word, the punctuation … and all the other stuff was something me and others like me cared about. But no one cares about it anymore, except the few editors still left standing. Even I don’t care that much these day. Not like I did in the past.

              Liked by 1 person

                1. I care, but I give up quickly. Because most people really DON’T care and given the state of media, I don’t see it ever being as important as it was. Maybe that’t the way it should be. I really don’t know. The constant drift of words from one form to another bothers me, but not enough to make it a mission!

                  Liked by 1 person

  1. I have to say I don’t believe I’ve ever used the word, ‘buff,’ in a sentence. But, I ran across a guy yesterday in a restaurant, and that word would have fit him perfectly. In my simple language, I just commented that I thought he must spend most of his day in the gym or he runs 10 miles a day at least. If buff isn’t the word, then I’m guessing chiseled might work for that guy.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. that’s pretty much it. They look sanded, smooooth, finished off. As you said, most of the day in the gym. And when you think about it, pretty boring. It’s the rough edges that make men more interesting.


      1. To me buff in a person looks retouched. And without character. Which doesn’t mean I can’t admire a guy with a great ass. But buff doesn’t mean that to me. Fortunately for the English language, they aren’t waiting for my approval 🙂


  2. Our maintenance crew buffs the floors every night. I’m sure they could buff a few wannabe studmuffins if they were so foolish, though the machine would likely just end up burning up their faces…


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