Saturday, February 24Not Your Ordinary English-Tagalog Dictionary

What is Eraser in Tagalog? History, Types, and Uses

The eraser in Tagalog is called “pambura,” where “bura” means to erase. In the UK, the eraser is called “rubber” since it’s made of rubber and is used to rub. As we all know, erasers can be in a block form or attached at the end of pencils. Both types have the same function, though. Blackboard or whiteboard erasers are called “pambura ng pisara” in Filipino.

Eraser in Tagalog
Erasers in the Philippines

Interestingly, bread was the first eraser and became a popular erasing tool among writers from 1612 to 1770. Aside from being cheap, breadcrumbs or moist bread are readily available and can easily erase pencil marks or correct writing mistakes. However, bread tends to mold or rot and may damage paper. No wonder, writers at that time brought lots of bread with them.

In 1770, British engineer Edward Nairne invented the rubber eraser by accident. At that time, he picked up a piece of rubber instead of breadcrumbs and used it to erase pencil marks. When Nairne realized that it was effective, he started selling untreated rubber or gum elastic. However, his erasers crumbled easily, had a foul smell, and were too sensitive to weather conditions.

In the same year, British chemist and natural philosopher Joseph Priestley discovered the erasing properties of rubber. He learned that the rubber used as an eraser came from a natural substance called “India” rubber, which French scientist Charles Marie de la Condamine brought from South America. This is also why British people call the eraser “rubber.”

In 1839, American chemist Charles Goodyear invented vulcanization, a method of curing rubber by adding sulfur to it. This process made rubber more durable and resistant to heat, and rubber erasers became a common erasing tool in the US. The Faber Pencil Company is the first to manufacture pencils with an eraser.

On March 30, 1858, Hymen Lipman of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania received a patent for his invention of the pencil with an eraser. He sold his patent to New Yorker Joseph Reckendorfer in 1862 for $100,00. But thirteen years later, the US Supreme Court invalidated his invention, noting that it is simply a combination of two existing products. 

Today, there are several types of erasers depending on the material and uses. The rubber eraser, which is the most common, is the pink eraser attached to pencils. The gum eraser (art gum eraser) is the softer version of the rubber eraser but has a shorter life. The vinyl eraser (also called plastic eraser) is made of soft vinyl but is the toughest type, and can erase almost all kinds of ink.

Meanwhile, the kneaded eraser is very soft and is ideal for erasing charcoal and very fine details. It can be shaped and is usually in light color but will turn dark when used frequently. Lastly, the eraser pencil (not the one on pencils) is also made of vinyl but in the form of a pencil. Also called erasil, this type of eraser can be sharpened like a regular pencil but can damage the paper.

Use pambura in a sentence.


Hindi maiiwasan ng mga bata na magkamali sa pagsusulat. Kaya dapat, lagi silang may dalang pambura.


Children cannot avoid making mistakes when writing. This is why they should always bring an eraser.

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