Buffalo - RevisitedLanguage brain teasers are those that involve the English language. You need to think about and manipulate words and letters.
The following string of eight words can be transformed into one grammatically correct American-English sentence by the capitalization of some of the words and the addition of only one punctuation mark. Otherwise the words are not changed in any manner, no letters are added or removed, and no words are combined or divided.
buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo
HintUse three definitions (American-English) for the word "buffalo".
AnswerBuffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo.
Buffalo - (noun) a city in New York State, USA
buffalo - (noun) commonly-used name for the American bison
buffalo - (verb) to bully, to intimidate or to overawe
Meaning: Buffalo bison Buffalo bison bully bully Buffalo bison.
Here's a way to "see" this meaning by adding interpretation (in parentheses):
Buffalo bison (bison who live in Buffalo) Buffalo bison bully (that are bullied by THESE bison who also live in Buffalo) bully Buffalo bison (do, in turn, bully other) Buffalo bison.
Here's another way to "see" the meaning by adding extraneous words and a comma:
Buffalo bison whom other Buffalo bison bully, themselves bully Buffalo bison.
Here's yet another way to "see" the meaning by substituting other cities and animals:
Albany cats Ithaca dogs bully intimidate Syracuse mice.
Albany cats Ithaca dogs bully (the cats who are bullied by the dogs) intimidate Syracuse mice (the cats themselves then intimidate mice).
Here's another way to "see" the key phrase (the first five "buffalo") by isolating it from the remainder of the sentence; Buffalo bison Buffalo bison buffalo 'run away and hide'.
I never said it was a "good" sentence, well constructed. I merely said it was a grammatically correct sentence - which it is - without needing any added punctuation other than the period on the end.
And this teaser is not original with me. My Dad discovered it in an obscure corner of the 'net one night. Do an Internet search for "buffalo buffalo buffalo" and you will find other examples, explanations, and similar uses of other words.
Also, the Title is somewhat a "hint" in that a version of the USA 5-cent piece (with a bison/buffalo on one side) is often called the "buffalo nickel".
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