"Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo" is a grammatically correct sentence in English, used as an example of how homonyms and homophones can be used to create complicated linguistic constructs. It has been discussed in literature, in various forms, since 1967 when it appeared in Dmitri Borgmann's ''Beyond Language: Adventures in Word and Thought''.
The sentence uses three distinct meanings of the word ''buffalo'': the city of Buffalo, New York; the somewhat uncommon verb ''to buffalo'', meaning "to bully or intimidate" or "to baffle"; and the animal itself, buffalo. Paraphrased, the sentence can be parsed to mean, "Bison from Buffalo, which bison from Buffalo bully, themselves bully bison from Buffalo."
The sentence is unpunctuated and uses three different readings of the word "buffalo". In order of their first use, these are:
* a. the city of Buffalo, New York, United States, which is used as a noun adjunct in the sentence and is followed by the animal;
* n. the noun buffalo (American bison), an animal, in the plural (equivalent to "buffaloes" or "buffalos"), in order to avoid articles.
* v. the verb "buffalo" meaning to outwit, confuse, deceive intimidate or baffle.
The sentence is syntactically ambiguous; however, one possible parse (marking each "buffalo" with its part of speech as shown above) would be as follows:
:Buffaloa buffalon Buffaloa buffalon buffalov buffalov Buffaloa buffalon.
The sentence uses a restrictive clause, so there are no commas, nor is there the word "which," as in, "Buffalo buffalo, which Buffalo buffalo buffalo, buffalo Buffalo buffalo." This clause is also a reduced relative clause, so the word ''that'', which could appear between the second and third words of the sentence, is omitted.
Thus, the parsed sentence reads as a claim that bison who ''are intimidated or bullied by bison'' are themselves ''intimidating or bullying bison'' (at least in the city of Buffalo– implicitly, Buffalo, NY):
:#Buffalo buffalo (buffalo from Buffalo NY) () Buffalo buffalo buffalo (that the buffalo from Buffalo NY bully) buffalo Buffalo buffalo (are bullying buffalo from Buffalo NY).
:#() buffalo(es) from Buffalo (are intimidated by ) buffalo(es) from Buffalo intimidate buffalo(es) from Buffalo.
:#Bison from Buffalo, New York, who are intimidated by other bison in their community, also happen to intimidate other bison in their community.
:#''The'' buffalo ''from'' Buffalo ''who are'' buffalo''ed by'' buffalo ''from'' Buffalo, buffalo (verb) ''other'' buffalo ''from'' Buffalo.
:#Buffalo buffalo (main clause subject) () Buffalo buffalo (subordinate clause subject) buffalo (subordinate clause verb) buffalo (main clause verb) Buffalo buffalo (main clause direct object).
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