whence BUCK NAKED?

Douglas G. Wilson douglas at NB.NET
Tue Apr 6 01:21:02 UTC 2004

>AH4 says this probably comes from "butt naked."

I doubt it.

My guess ... just as well substantiated as the above (i.e., not at all) ...
is that "buck" here is the "buck" meaning "male animal" which once was
conventionally used for "male savage", etc. ... I'm not sure whether this
is the same "buck" as the one in "buck private", etc.

My second-choice guess ... still every bit as good as the dictionary's ...
is that "buck" is from "buckskin", here meaning simply "skin" ... by
analogy with "[in the] buff".

I'm more cautious than the dictionary editor, and I would be unwilling to
put "probably" next to either of these casual notions.

-- Doug Wilson

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