July 06, 2015
pander (verb)
\PAN-der\ Hear it!
What does it mean?
: to provide gratification for others' desires
How do you use it?
The candidate was accused of pandering to special interest groups in order to win votes.
Are you a word wiz?

The word "pander" comes from a name. Who or what do you think gave us the word "pander"?

In Greek mythology, Pandarus was an archer that fought with the Trojans during the Trojan War. In medieval retellings of the Trojan War, he was pulled into the love story of Troilus, a Trojan prince, and Cressida, the daughter of a Trojan priest who has defected to the Greeks. Since the Trojans and the Greeks were at war, Troilus and Cressida's love was forbidden, but Pandarus acted as a go-between and brought them together. Later, Shakespeare made Pandarus out to be less of a sweet note-carrier and more of a sinister figure who works for Troilus to make Cressida fall in love with him by exploiting her weaknesses. "Pander" became a noun and a verb, and the verb's meaning today carries a bit of that connotation of distastefully giving gratification to a person, as in our example sentence above.
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