Friday, August 22, 2008

So Get Over It Already

I know, I know. I really should.

But this is the thing.

It's been bugging me for exactly 1 year and 4 months.

It happened at last year's Conference, hosted by our church...

Picture it, Prince Albert, April 22, 2007... it's the end of Conference Banquet... I'm sitting at a most distinguished table with no less than the Conference President and Vice President themselves...

On the menu was "Bison", and someone asked what the difference between Buffalo and Bison was. I started to answer that they were very similar when one of The Distinguished Ones interrupted to inform us that Bison and Buffalo are exactly the same thing.

I know I shouldn't let it bother me, and I know I Posted it in as generous a way as I could under "Things I learned at Conference", but two things happened there that have bugged me ever since: I was publicly corrected (read "embarrassed") and I was told, in no uncertain terms (by inference, to be sure), that I was wrong (read "stupid/ foolish/ silly").

That rankles.

I guess I must not really be letting it fester too much, because it pretty much took until last week for me to remember that it had bugged me and to actually look it up.

But now, in an attempt at healing cleansing,  I'd like to set the record straight.

Go here: (Bison and Buffalo) and tell me that I wasn't correct.

Granted the terms in North America have become interchangeable, but a true buffalo lives on the other side of the world.


I think so.


  1. Girl, you were totally correct. I had no idea about the difference - except that there was one. Do you have the email address of those who sat at the table with you? I would have no problem sending them an anonymous email to set them straight... ;)

  2. Flashback moment here ! When I was growing up in a land far away there was a joke going the rounds - What's the difference between a buffalo and a bison ? ...You can wash your hands in a bison.

    Does that translate ? In 1970's UK it passed as humour... Nuff said ?

  3. Well, how about that! At the time I would have probably "corrected" you as well, although hopefully not in an embarrassing way.

    My dad has always referred to them as "Bison", correctly, I know see. It was my understanding that "buffalo" vs. "bison" was an American vs. Canadian version issue. I always preferred the term "buffalo"---may because it was the opposite of what my dad said; maybe it sounded cooler (i.e. Buffalo Bill).

    I stand humbly corrected.

    Someone should inform the Old American West and all films set at that time.

  4. Buffalo, bison - who cares?Don't sweat the small stuff.There are much mor things to get all bent out of shape about, eh?

  5. I think the joke totally translates, Rachel... but that might just be my British heritage showing through!

    Yeah. Somehow "Bison Bill" doesn't have quite the same ring to it, eh Marc?! (but the longer I say it, the better I like it...) And how can you be "Home, home on the range", if you've got Bison? What do you do with the lost syllable?! I suppose it could be "where the deer and the Big Bison play"...

    : )

  6. Where the deer and the bison DOTH play... :D

  7. Wait...isn't the lyric "Where the deer and the ANTELOPE play?" That's how I've always heard it sung.

    According to this, buffalo are not mentioned:

  8. Without looking at the website, I know you're totally right. It's all bison over here. When we drove to MN from BC we stopped in Jamestown, ND--home of the White Bison (and Louis L'Amour). But even there museum used Buffalo in the name.

  9. Wait a second, I have a PS:

    Isn't there a lyric about "give me a home where the buffalo roam"?

  10. I'm with Marc! I thought it was:

    "Home, home on the range,
    where the deer and the antelope play.
    Where seldom is heard
    a discouraging word
    and the skies are not cloudy all day!"

    Am I right? No buffalo.... anyway, "Home on the Range" aside, I'm glad you had your moment of vindication. :o)

  11. Oh, MAN!

    It IS where the deer and the antelope play...

    So, I suppose the politically correct version might go something like:

    Oh give me a home where the Bison all roam, where the deer and the antelope play...

    Unless you're singing the "Homemakers Anonymous Theme Song"... (

  12. Strangely enough, I was asked the very same question (about bison vs buffalo) last night and said that they were Am vs CDN versions of the same term; however technically buffalo was water buffalo as in India. (So I guess I get double points?) Note that on the border between NWT and Alberta there is Wood Buffalo National Park - so buffalo was used here previously; and the cross between a cow and a bison is known as a beefalo. (Is that enough Trivial Pursuit for today?)

  13. Bonus points for May! I should get some prizes...

  14. How did I miss "buffalo" IN THE FIRST LINE of that song?

    Demerit for me.