in the buff
in the buff
- without any clothes on
- The model created a sensation when she posed for a magazine cover in the buff.
- Not knowing that someone was there in the room, he came out of the bathroom in the buff.
- There was a huge scandal when some pictures of the actress in the buff were leaked over the internet.
- Kim was terribly embarrassed having walked into Pat’s room while he was in the buff.
- Some people sleep in their pajamas, while some prefer to sleep in the buff.
- Out here, don’t be shocked if you see children running out onto the streets in the buff and playing in the rain.
The phrase originally referred to the buff-coat, which was a light leather tunic worn by the English soldiers until the 17th century. “In the buff” meant to be wearing such a coat. This usage is found in Shakespeare’s Comedy of Errors in 1590. The later, and current meaning is an allusion to the colour of human skin, which is somewhat similar to the colour of buff (a light brown yellowish colour).This usage was first recorded by Thomas Dekker, in “Satiro-mastix or the untrussing of the humorous poet” in 1602. In this work, “in the buff” is likened to “in stag”, which, at that time, was a commonly used term for being naked.