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"Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo"

The sentence above is an actual sentence which makes perfect sense and is not wrong.
The word "Buffalo" has three meanings:

1) The City of Buffalo, New York
2) To buffalo (verb) to bully/intimidate
3) The animal Buffalo/bison

Can you explain what this sentence means?

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    $\begingroup$ It means "Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo". Correct? $\endgroup$ – nicael Oct 6 '14 at 13:25
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    $\begingroup$ Given that any sequence of buffalos is grammatically correct there's a follow up question: What does buffalo repeated n times mean? (I mean for each n natural number) and more interesting, what's the meaning of an infinite sequence of buffalos? $\endgroup$ – Bakuriu Oct 6 '14 at 17:14
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    $\begingroup$ Am I wrong, or is the sentence meaningless without 2 commas? "Buffalo buffalo, Buffalo buffalo buffalo, buffalo Buffalo buffalo." Without those, it's not a proper sentence, is it? $\endgroup$ – mbm29414 Oct 6 '14 at 22:07
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    $\begingroup$ Now count the number of consecutive "and" here (though the sentence does not consist only of "and"s) $\endgroup$ – Hagen von Eitzen Oct 7 '14 at 10:41
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    $\begingroup$ I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it isn't really a puzzle, just an "explain this" question $\endgroup$ – Spencerkatty May 19 '15 at 14:43
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Basically, it's "buffalo who reside in Buffalo, NY that bully other buffalo that also live there, also bully themselves."

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    $\begingroup$ Shouldn't it be "buffalo who reside in Buffalo, NY, who have been bullied by other buffalo who also live there, also themselves bully"? Otherwise, you're just saying "x and y implies y" which isn't that strong of a statement. $\endgroup$ – wchargin Oct 6 '14 at 14:31
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    $\begingroup$ Not sure if the strength of the statement is what's in question here. It's a ridiculous sentence to begin with. $\endgroup$ – generalcrispy Oct 6 '14 at 14:36
  • $\begingroup$ right, poorly phrased on my part…but I hope you take my meaning $\endgroup$ – wchargin Oct 6 '14 at 14:37
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    $\begingroup$ I don't think this answer is quite right - the puzzle says nothing about bison bullying themselves, only that they bully bison (probably other bison). $\endgroup$ – DeveloperInDevelopment Oct 6 '14 at 18:03
  • $\begingroup$ This isn't as accurate as the answer below. $\endgroup$ – Luke May 19 '15 at 12:56
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Wikipedia has a nice article on this.

Buffalo buffalo (buffalo from Buffalo NY) [that] Buffalo buffalo buffalo (that the buffalo from Buffalo NY bully) buffalo Buffalo buffalo (are bullying buffalo from Buffalo NY).

enter image description here

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  • $\begingroup$ Best answer by far. $\endgroup$ – nicael Oct 6 '14 at 15:22
  • $\begingroup$ @JoeZ. B and b are different graphs, though, and audio is not the same as spelling. $\endgroup$ – Cees Timmerman Oct 7 '14 at 8:51
  • $\begingroup$ They represent the same letter with different capitalization, though. Is that really enough to distinguish them as graphemes? $\endgroup$ – Joe Z. Oct 7 '14 at 16:11
  • $\begingroup$ (And I must correct myself; they are actually homophones, but they are also homographs.) $\endgroup$ – Joe Z. Oct 7 '14 at 16:14
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    $\begingroup$ @JoeZ. Then how could they impart different meaning? $\endgroup$ – Cees Timmerman Oct 7 '14 at 17:46
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Let's replace the place with New York
Let's replace the verb with bully
Let's keep the animal as buffalo

Original:

Buffalo   buffalo  (that)  Buffalo   buffalo  buffalo  (also)  buffalo  Buffalo   buffalo.

Replaced:

New York  buffalo  (that)  New York  buffalo  bully    (also)  bully    New York  buffalo.
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    $\begingroup$ I don't understand how the sentence can stand without "that" and "also" being explicitly in the sentence. I understand it with them there, but as soon as they are removed, the sentence becomes nonsense to me. $\endgroup$ – Michael Oct 8 '14 at 3:24
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    $\begingroup$ @Michael Produce (that) farmers sell tends to be fresh. $\endgroup$ – Taemyr Oct 8 '14 at 7:29
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    $\begingroup$ This answer explains it best, thank you! $\endgroup$ – pacoverflow Nov 5 '14 at 4:14

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