One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
The principal male singer or role in a comic opera, especially in the 18th-century Italian opera buffa.
Early 19th century; earliest use found in Michael Kelly (1762–1826), singer and composer. From Italian primo buffo principal male singer or role in a comic opera from primo first + buffo.
primo buffo/ˌpriːməʊ ˈbuːfəʊ//ˌpriːməʊ ˈbʊfəʊ/
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