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Dr. Goodword
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Postby Dr. Goodword » Thu Feb 17, 2005 8:17 pm

• pander •

Pronunciation: pæn-dêr

Part of Speech: Noun, Intransitive verb

Meaning: 1. [Noun] The scientific term for pimp, a procurer of sexual favors. 2. [Noun] A person who complies with the base inclinations of others. 3. [Verb] To lower one's standards or morals for approval or wealth, as to pander to the whims of the wealthy.

Notes: This word, good or bad, is a member of a large and mostly legitimate family. The activity of a pander is panderage; they behave in a panderly fashion (his panderly gaze dissuaded her from staying). Although pandership has been recorded, we recommend reserving this word to address panders you respect (Yes, your pandership). That should be the end of it. Most dictionaries now list panderer as the agent noun with a reduplication of ther final –er. However, this word is an illegitimate issue of pander—the black sheep of the family. The second -er is redundant. While we do form agent nouns by adding –er, it is not necessary in this case; the word already refers to an agent.

In Play: Let us begin with the delicate meaning of this good bad word, "When the police raided the red light district last night, 'pandermonium' broke out." Now that we have that behind us, let's look at the more usual use of this term: "Duane Pipes is nothing but a servile little pander who does whatever that corrupt boss of his tells him."

Word History: Today's word has an eponym in Greek Pandaros, a name associated with betrayal because the Trojan prince, Pandaros, broke the peace with the Athenians during the Trojan War. Boccaccio next used the name in his Decameron Tales, where his Pandaro facilitates the love of Troilus for Criseida. The same character in Chaucer's Troilus and Criseyde has slipped even farther along the moral slope and is protrayed as someone much like a procurer. (We procured this word from a perfectly legitimate suggestion sent by Susan Lister, a serial contributor to our Good Words.)
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Postby tcward » Thu Feb 17, 2005 10:42 pm

I think I've always heard the noun form as panderer. :?


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Postby Stargzer » Fri Feb 18, 2005 12:54 am

Overheard in a rural part of The South:

"Heeyyyy, Bubba! Ah thawt a pander was that thar black-'n'-white b'ar they got in th' zoo up thar in Warshintun Dee-See."

"No, Skeeter, that's a pan-DUH. Ah think th' DUH part comes 'cause the guy pan-duh jes sets 'n' eats bam-boo 'n' don' never pay no min' t' his lady-fren."

"Wellllll, if'n mah lady-fren lookt lahk his, Ah wooden pay her no min' neethuh!"

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