Wednesday, December 12, 2001
bowdlerize transitive verb [BODE-luh-rise; BOWD-] To remove or modify the parts (of a book, for example) considered offensive.
Definitions for bowdlerize
- To remove or modify the parts (of a book, for example) considered offensive.
- To modify, as by shortening, simplifying, or distorting in style or content.
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Citations for bowdlerize
The president did not call for bowdlerizing all entertainment, but stressed keeping unsuitable material away from the eyes of children.
His tempestuous high school years are touched upon in a delightful scene where the precocious Roy infuriates his English teacher by trying to restore some of Shakespeare's saucier lines to that classroom's bowdlerized study of Hamlet.
Origin of bowdlerize
Bowdlerize derives from the name Thomas Bowdler, an editor in Victorian times who rewrote Shakespeare, removing all profanity and sexual references so as not to offend the sensibilities of the audiences of his day.