The word bowdlerise came to exist after a man named Thomas Bowdler published a censored edition of Shakespeare in 1818. As you may be able to already guess, the word, named after him, refers to the act of removing or censoring offensive or objectionable material. A person who performs this act, such as Bowdler himself, can be said to be bowdlerising.

Any type of publication can be bowdlerised, through the removal or modification of sections that are deemed indecent or inappropriate. This includes books, plays and scripts, and can even extend to film, where scenes can be bowdlerised if found to be too crude or offensive to be shown to certain populations.

Pronunciation: BOWED-LUR-ISE. Make sure the ‘bowd’ sound rhymes with ‘loud’.

Ability to seamlessly incorporate into every-day writing: 4/10 (Hard-ish)

Example of use:
The editor found the work so despicably crude that he knew he must bowdlerise at least several chapters.

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