English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

What is the place-name etymology of Buffalo, New York?

share|improve this question

closed as general reference by Hugo, Will Hunting, aedia λ, MετάEd, simchona Jan 26 '12 at 1:14

This question is too basic; it can be definitively and permanently answered by a single link to a standard internet reference source designed specifically to find that type of information.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

Downvoted (no research done) and voted to close (general reference) as answer is on Wikipedia and etymonline.com, both found via Google search. – Hugo Jan 25 '12 at 11:05

The city is named after Buffalo Creek. How Buffalo Creek got its name is unknown. There are many conflicting stories. See, for example, http://www.buffaloah.com/h/bflo/origin.html

share|improve this answer
Thank you,Jay.I was hoping you wouldn't say it was a slam dunk from "beau fleuve",which I once believed with certainty.Mark Twain once quipped that it was called "Buffalo" because there weren't any buffalo to be seen. – Bill S. Jan 25 '12 at 3:46
I didn't think buffalo were native to N America? – mgb Jan 25 '12 at 4:03
@mgb American Bison are also known as buffalo. – slim Jan 25 '12 at 9:01

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.