Frivolous Friday: Buffalo Wings


Over at Almost Diamonds, Stephanie Zvan has a hi-freaking-larious review of ManCave brand bratwurst, Buffalo wing style with bleu cheese, in which she coins the word “portmanbro.” It reminded me of my very silly story about Buffalo wings.

Not much to it really. Just that when I first saw Buffalo wings on a menu, and for literally several years after, I did not connect them with the city of Buffalo. It did not occur to me even for a second that Buffalo wings referred to a style of preparing and serving chicken wings invented in Buffalo, New York.

Instead, I thought the term was meant to be a fanciful imagining of what buffaloes’ wings would be like, if they had them. I thought the joke was that if buffalo had wings, they would be tiny and vestigial. I thought the joke was that buffalo had evolved from birds, or possibly pterodactyls, and had evolved into large land-bound mammals who couldn’t fly, but they still had vestigial wings which didn’t serve any purpose for the buffalo — but which were delicious.

It reminds me of Mondegreens (comical mis-hearings of song lyrics or phrases). They often make less sense than the actual thing. Often our brains fill in missing information with the most obvious, readily-expected thing — but sometimes, they really, really don’t.

Frivolous Fridays are the Orbit bloggers’ excuse to post about fun things we care about that may not have serious implications for atheism or social justice. Any day is a good day to write about whatever the heck we’re interested in (hey, we put “culture” in our tagline for a reason), but we sometimes have a hard time giving ourselves permission to do that. This is our way of encouraging each other to take a break from serious topics and have some fun. Check out what some of the other Orbiters are doing!

Frivolous Friday: Buffalo Wings
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3 thoughts on “Frivolous Friday: Buffalo Wings

  1. 2

    I remember that, whilst going to the University at Buffalo, there would be a series of radio ads for Labatt Blue featuring two voyageurs discussing the vision they see of Canada in the future (aka, now). One add featured an exchange where one describing the bars he sees in the future on the swamp they are going through, where they serve Buffalo wings. This gets the incredulous response that “Buffalo don’t have wings!”, and the comeback “Chicken don’t have fingers, but they serve those, too!”.

    I’d link to an online recording of the ads, but I can’t find one.

  2. 3

    Well, when I went to study in Ireland I learned the terms “hand job” and “blow job”. It’s amazing how little those terms feature in your classical EFL university class.
    Then there came the day one of my housemates left a magazine lying around. The title story was about beauty pageants and the headline read “Of sleazy men and nose jobs”.
    It took me a while before I figured that one out…

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