I'm still reading Neil Gaiman's short-story collection Fragile Things, and found a word that was new to me in the story "The Problem of Susan":
The Grimms' stories were collected for adults and, when the Grimms realized the books were being read in the nursery, were bowdlerized to make them more appropriate.
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The American Heritage Dictionary defines bowdlerize as " To remove material that is considered offensive or objectionable from (a book, for example)." A friend checked the OED for me, and it had a more colorful definition: "To expurgate (a book or writing), by omitting or modifying words or passages considered indelicate or offensive; to castrate."
The OED also had the best etymology: "From the name of Dr. T. Bowdler, who in 1818 published an edition of Shakespeare, ‘in which those words and expressions are omitted which cannot with propriety be read aloud in a family’."
Wow, this reminds me of the story that was circulating last week about the California school district that is taking dictionaries out of classrooms because they have a definition of oral sex. I guess they are just bowdlerizing the entire book.