Where’s the Buffalo err… Bison?

Since starting at Buffalo Electric Supply it has been brought to my attention by a fellow employee and a customer that our logo actually depicts a bison, not a buffalo.  So I decided to do a little research on the topic and here is what I have learned.   While it is indeed a fact our logo is a bison, if you are using “Biological Classification”, it is perfectly okay to call a bison a buffalo.  According to the Wikipedia article for american bison

The term “buffalo” is sometimes considered to be a misnomer for this animal, and could be confused with two “true buffalo”, the Asian water buffalo and the African buffalo. However, “bison” is a Greek word meaning ox-like animal, while “buffalo” originated with the French fur trappers who called these massive beasts bœufs, meaning ox or bullock—so both names, “bison” and “buffalo”, have a similar meaning. The name “buffalo” is listed in many dictionaries as an acceptable name for American buffalo or bison. In reference to this animal, the term “buffalo”, dates to 1625 in North American usage when the term was first recorded for the American mammal.[13] It thus has a much longer history than the term “bison”, which was first recorded in 1774.[citation needed] The American bison is very closely related to the wisent or European bison.

Yes, I know some people take what is written in Wikipedia with a grain of salt, however I think it is a good source of information… or a good starting point at least.  So from Wikipedia I decided to try some of the references listed at the bottom and I learned that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service also call a bison a buffalo, this article which describes the history and current state of the american bison repeatedly calls them buffalo. Also this article on the National Park Service website, “Social Behavior of the American Buffalo” as the name proves calls it a buffalo.

So in the end yes if you are a biologist you may refer to this majestic creature as a bison or American bison, but if you’re just a guy selling products to the American working man, because that is what you are and that is who you care about…. you should be okay with calling it a buffalo, I know I am.

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