late 15c., echoic of bees and other insects. Aviation sense of "fly low and close" is 1941. Noun meaning "a busy rumor" is attested from c.1600; that of "humming sound" is from 1640s. Meaning "pleasant sense of intoxication" first recorded 1935. The game of counting off, with 7 or multiples of it replaced by buzz is attested from 1864. Buzz off (1914) originally meant "to ring off on the telephone."