The verb pander means to cater to, or profit by, the vices of others. But for centuries it meant to act as a go-between in clandestine love affairs. Pandaro was a character in Boccaccio's Filostrato. He was the cousin of Cressida and, living up to his unsavory reputation, acted as go-between in her affair with Troilus. Chaucer took him over in his Troilus and Criseyde as Pandarus, changing him from cousin to uncle but retaining his unsavory role. His name came to be used as a generic term for "an arranger of sexual liaisons." In each instance Pandaro or Pandare obtained Cressida's favors for the pleasure of Troilus, son of the king of Troy. But the match did not last long. Cressida deserted her lover for a Greek. Shakespeare through Pandarus intoned: "Since I have such pains to bring you together, let all pitiful goers-between be call'd to the world's end after my name; call them all Pandars."
   The sense of pander in today's contemporary usage is to appeal to someone's lower tastes or lower nature. It might be said of anyone who gains power and popularity by arousing the emotions and prejudices of people. Such a person might also be called a demagogue.

Dictionary of eponyms. . 2013.


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  • Pander — ist der Familienname folgender Personen: Christian Pander (* 1983), deutscher Fußballspieler Christian Heinrich Pander (1794 1865), baltendeutscher Zoologe Peter Pander (* 1951), deutscher Fußball Funktionär Ronnie Pander (* 1977),… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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  • Pander — Pan der, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Pandered}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Pandering}.] To play the pander for. [1913 Webster] {to pander to} v. t. To appeal to (base emotions or less noble desires), so as to achieve one s purpose; to exploit (base emotions, such …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • pander — [pan′dər] n. [< ME Pandare,PANDARUS < L Pandarus] 1. a go between in a sexual intrigue; esp., a procurer; pimp 2. a person who provides the means of helping to satisfy the ignoble ambitions or desires, vices, etc. of another: Also panderer… …   English World dictionary

  • Pander — Pan der, n. [From Pandarus, a leader in the Trojan army, who is represented by Chaucer and Shakespeare as having procured for Troilus the possession of Cressida.] [1913 Webster] 1. A male bawd; a pimp; a procurer. [1913 Webster] Thou art the… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Pander — Pan der, v. i. To act the part of a pander. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • pander to — (someone) to give someone what they want, although it may not be good or right for them. TV stations pander to viewers who don t seem to get enough of sex and violence …   New idioms dictionary

  • pander — ► VERB (pander to) ▪ gratify or indulge (an immoral or distasteful desire or habit). ► NOUN dated ▪ a pimp or procurer. ORIGIN from Pandare, a character in Chaucer s Troilus and Criseyde who acts as a lovers go between …   English terms dictionary

  • Pander — Pander, Christian Heinrich, Zoolog, geb. 12. Juli 1794 in Riga, gest. 22. Sept. 1865, studierte in Jena und Würzburg, begleitete 1820 die russische Gesandtschaft nach Bochara, ward 1823 Mitglied der Petersburger Akademie, nahm aber 1828 seine… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

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