[19] In 1818 Dr Thomas Bowdler (1754–1825), an English editor, published his Family Shakespeare, an expurgated edition of the plays ‘in which those words and expressions are omitted which cannot with propriety be read aloud in a family’. This and other similarly censored versions of the English classics led to Bowdler’s name being cast as the epitome of Whitehousian suppression. The first recorded use of the verb was in a letter by General P Thompson in 1836.

The Hutchinson dictionary of word origins. 2013.

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  • Bowdlerize — Bowd ler*ize, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Bowdlerized}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Bowdlerizing}.] [After Dr. Thomas Bowdler, an English physician, who published an expurgated edition of Shakespeare in 1818.] To expurgate, as a book, by omitting or modifying the… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • bowdlerize — I verb censor, curtail, cut, cut out, delete, edit out, emasculate, eviscerate, excise, expunge, expurgate, extirpate, remove associated concepts: censorship, freedom of speech II index censor, expurg …   Law dictionary

  • 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… …   Etymology dictionary

  • bowdlerize — (Amer.) bowd·ler·ize || baÊŠdlÉ™raɪz v. bowdlerise, censor literature, modify a written work by abridging in content, change a written work by distorting in style or content (named after Thomas Bowdler who published a censored version of… …   English contemporary dictionary

  • bowdlerize — (also bowdlerise) ► VERB ▪ remove indecent or offensive material from (a text). ORIGIN from the name of Dr Thomas Bowdler (1754 1825), an American who published an expurgated edition of Shakespeare …   English terms dictionary

  • bowdlerize — [boud′lər īz΄, bōd′lə rīz΄] vt. bowdlerized, bowdlerizing [after Thomas Bowdler (1754 1825), Eng editor who (1818) published an expurgated Shakespeare] to remove passages considered offensive from (a book, play, etc.) bowdlerism n. bowdlerization …   English World dictionary

  • bowdlerize — [[t]ba͟ʊdləraɪz, AM bo͟ʊd [/t]] bowdlerizes, bowdlerizing, bowdlerized VERB (disapproval) To bowdlerize a book or film means to take parts of it out before publishing it or showing it. [V n] Mark Twain s wife was so prudish she felt it necessary… …   English dictionary

  • bowdlerize — UK [ˈbaʊdləraɪz] / US [ˈbaʊdləˌraɪz] verb [transitive] Word forms bowdlerize : present tense I/you/we/they bowdlerize he/she/it bowdlerizes present participle bowdlerizing past tense bowdlerized past participle bowdlerized to remove the parts of… …   English dictionary

  • bowdlerize — transitive verb ( ized; izing) Etymology: Thomas Bowdler died 1825 English editor Date: 1836 1. to expurgate (as a book) by omitting or modifying parts considered vulgar 2. to modify by abridging, simplifying, or distorting in style or content •… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • bowdlerize — bowdlerism, n. bowdlerization, n. bowdlerizer, n. /bohd leuh ruyz , bowd /, v.t., bowdlerized, bowdlerizing. to expurgate (a written work) by removing or modifying passages considered vulgar or objectionable. Also, esp. Brit., bowdlerise. [1830… …   Universalium

  • bowdlerize — verb /ˈbaʊd.lə.ˌɹaɪz/ To remove those parts of a text considered offensive, vulgar, or otherwise unseemly. The bowdlerized version of the novel, while free of vulgarity, was also free of flavor …   Wiktionary

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