From 11:00PM PDT on Friday, July 1 until 5:00AM PDT on Saturday, July 2, the Shmoop engineering elves will be making tweaks and improvements to the site. That means Shmoop will be unavailable for use during that time. Thanks for your patience!
We have changed our privacy policy. In addition, we use cookies on our website for various purposes. By continuing on our website, you consent to our use of cookies. You can learn about our practices by reading our privacy policy.
© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.

Literature Glossary

Don’t be an oxymoron. Know your literary terms.

Over 200 literary terms, Shmooped to perfection.

Bowdlerize

Definition:

When you bowdlerize a text, you remove certain parts of it. Publishers sometimes bowdlerize to make a text simpler or less offensive.

The recent bowdlerization of the n-word in Mark Twain's Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by NewSouth Books stirred up quite the controversy.

The term is named after Thomas Bowdler, who famously, and controversially, published a bowdlerized version of Shakespeare's collected works to create The Family Shakespeare. We have just one question: what in the world did he do with Lady Macbeth?

Tags: General