This blog is for everyone who uses words.

The ordinary-sized words are for everyone, but the big ones are especially for children.

Friday, 28 February 2014

Word To Use Today: pandora

Yes, Pandora was the one who opened the box (except that it wasn't a box, but a jar: Erasmus apparently got his pithos and his pyxis mixed up when he was doing the translation. Still, nobody's perfect). Unfortunately Pandora's box contained all the troubles of man.

Mind you, in another version of the story, Pandora was the first woman. She was made by the Gods to punish mankind after Prometheus stole fire, and they made her beautiful to enslave men for ever.

Neat, eh?

A pandora is one of these, too:

Pandoura 001.jpg

That's a 4th century image of a Muse playing a pandora. Nowadays you're more likely to hear someone playing its descendant, which has come to be called a banjo.

A pandora is also a fungus that infests aphids (not much of a life, eh?), a sort of sea bream, a shellfish, and a moth:

The moth larvae live in pine trees in California. The Forest Service hate them for eating the leaves of the trees, but the Paiute Native Americans find the larvae jolly tasty. They roast the larvae:

for half an hour in sand, then they dry them. The larvae can then be stored for up to two years before being boiled to reconstitute them.


Symbion pandora is a tiny aquatic animal that lives in lobsters' mouths. Symbion pandora is an odd thing - the way it reproduces involves the females' digestive systems collapsing and turning into a larva.

And if that sounds tough then pity the poor male, who has no digestive system at all.

It really makes all the troubles of man seem quite manageable, doesn't it.

Word To Use Today: pandora. This word comes from the Greek and means all-gifted.


  1. Well gosh, pandora's not exactly a pleasant word in any of its meanings is it!

    I do like the other version of Pandora's box. Something else I've added to my memory banks! Thank you!

    1. You're very welcome indeed, Jingles. Unfortunately my memory banks seems to operate on a one in - one out basis, but I think that Pandora version, being pleasingly feminist, will stick.