[Ads-l] New to me: "use the whole buffalo"

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Sat Feb 14 01:31:08 UTC 2015

Heard on an L&O - CI season 3 (2003) re-run:

D'Onofrio's character, Det. Goren, referencing the victim, says:

"He had no ID, no cell phone, no watch. Punks _used the whole buffalo_."

This variant of the cliches of the "whole hog" / "whole [numeral] yards"
class seems to be relatively recent.

The above is the oldest derived use that I can find with a date.

Below is the earliest literal use that I found.

Hawaii Pono Journal - Volume 1 - Page 131
1970 - ‎Snippet view - ‎More editions
Moreover, they _used the whole buffalo_, not only the hide.

 I also found,

"'They used the whole buffalo,' so to speak,"

which suggests derivation. But, without any context or a date more specific
than "21st century,"


All say, "How hard it is that we have to die!"---a strange complaint to
come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
-Mark Twain

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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