- to expurgate (a written work) by removing or modifying passages considered vulgar or objectionable.
Origin of bowdlerize
Examples from the Web for bowdlerize
I have no wish to bowdlerize Sir Richard Steele, his ways and words.Essays
She should not be allowed to disguise and bowdlerize it to suit the unwelcome tastes she had acquired at school.Joanna Godden
This is called "expurgating" the book; but people who disapprove often call it to bowdlerize.Stories That Words Tell Us
- (tr) to remove passages or words regarded as indecent from (a play, novel, etc); expurgate
Word Origin and History for bowdlerize
1836, from Thomas Bowdler (1754-1825), English editor who in 1818 published a notorious expurgated Shakespeare, in which, according to his frontispiece, "nothing is added to the original text; but those words and expressions omitted which cannot with propriety be read aloud in a family." Related: Bowdlerized; bowdlerizing.