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Permanent link for this word: bowdlerize


Sep 23, 2009
This week's theme
Words about censorship and destruction of books

This week's words
comstockery
imprimatur
bowdlerize
nihil obstat
grangerize

Shakespeare bowdlerized
The Family Shakespeare
The Family Shakespeare

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bowdlerize

PRONUNCIATION:
(BOAD-luh-ryz)

MEANING:
verb tr.: To remove or change parts (of a book, play, movie, etc.) considered objectionable.

ETYMOLOGY:
After Thomas Bowdler (1754-1825), a British doctor, who edited the Family Shakespeare, an expurgated edition of William Shakespeare's works. Bowdler believed the original wasn't suitable for the delicate sensibilities of women and children. He also edited other books, such as Edward Gibbon's Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire and the Old Testament in a similar manner.

USAGE:
"The film [The Birth of a Nation] faced more courtroom challenges than any movie before or since, and many locales did ban or bowdlerize the movie."
Gary Susman; Riot Acts; Entertainment Weekly; Nov 23, 2005.

See more usage examples of bowdlerize in Vocabulary.com's dictionary.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You. -Dr. Seuss, author and illustrator (1904-1991)

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