Have someone buffaloed

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Have someone buffaloed is an idiom from the American Old West. We will examine the meaning of the idiom have someone buffaloed, where it came from, and some examples of its idiomatic usage in sentences.

To have someone buffaloed means to have intimidated someone; to have asserted one’s superior authority or strength; to have bullied someone. The expression to have someone buffaloed came into use at the end of the 1800s and most probably evolved from a practice that came into use in the 1860s-1870s known as buffaloing. At that time, the verb to buffalo meant to knock someone in the head with the butt of a pistol. This was often an effective tactic used by lawmen like Wyatt Earp and Bat Masterson when they wished to avoid more lethal gunplay. American buffalo were thought to be stupid creatures that were nevertheless, powerful. Related phrases are has someone buffaloed, had someone buffaloed, having someone buffaloed.


“You get your bell rung a little bit,” said quarterback Brandon Allen, looking dazed and confused after Denver was buffaloed by the Bills here Sunday. (The Denver Post)

“He’s slick, he’s smooth, but boy, he’s loyal, he’s talented and he’s got them all buffaloed because they’re not as good as him.” (The Dallas Morning News)

Don’t get buffaloed in negotiations: Use bison logic to achieve your ends (The Philadelphia Business Journal)

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