buffalo:  English probably acquired buffalo from Portuguese bufalo, originally naming the ‘water buffalo’, Bubalis bubalis, a large oxlike animal of Asia and Africa, and subsequently extended to the ‘Cape buffalo’ of South Africa, Syncerus caffer. The Portuguese word came from late Latin bufalus, an alteration of Latin bubalus, which was borrowed from Greek boúbalos. The Greek word, which seems to have named a type of African gazelle, may have been formed from bous ‘ox’. The application of the word to the North American bison, which is still regarded as ‘incorrect’, dates from the late 18th century. => buff
1580s (earlier buffel, 1510s, from Middle French), from Portuguese bufalo "water buffalo," from Latin bufalus, variant of bubalus "wild ox," from Greek boubalos "buffalo," originally a kind of African antelope, later used of a type of domesticated ox in southern Asia and the Mediterranean lands, perhaps from bous "ox, cow" (see cow (n.)). Wrongly applied since 1630s to the American bison. Buffalo gnat is recorded from 1822.
city in western New York state, U.S., of disputed origin (there never were buffalo thereabouts), perhaps from the name of a native chief, or a corruption of French beau fleuve "beautiful river." Buffalo wings finger food so called because the recipe was invented in Buffalo (1964, at Frank & Teressa's Anchor Bar on Main Street).