Today's Word of the Day means...
"The Buffs are men and boys whose love of fires, fire-fighting and firemen is a predominant characteristic." [N.Y. "Sun," Feb. 4, 1903]Adj. meaning "well-built, hunky" is from 1980s, from sense "polish, make attractive."
[originally fire buff, because New York City volunteer firefighters about 1820 wore buff-colored, light brownish yellow coats; transferred to persons who like to watch fires, then to enthusiasts in general]
[1604+; probably fr the pale yellowish color of the leather called buff, likened to skin]
(also buffed, buffed out) Well-built; muscular; hunky: Looking mighty buff, by the way (1980s+ Teenagers)verb
(also buff out) To do body-building; put on muscle; become brawnier: Fudgie wondered if Tweezer had buffed out in San Quentin (1980s+ Teenagers)verb phrase
(also buff up) To be ingratiating and attentive, so as to keep on good terms: Gotta go. Gotta buff (1990s+ Hollywood)
[probably fr buff, ''polish, make attractive,'' a process originally done with a leather buff stick; the adj sense may be derived fr buffalo, as an image of strength]
To make a patient's chart look good, esp in preparing him or her for discharge
[1970s+ Medical; fr buff, ''to polish'']
An HH53 long-range rescue helicopter, called a ''big ugly fat fellow'' (1960s+ Air Force)