A few weeks ago, a listener was looking for a term to describe the copy of The Emperor’s New Clothes that he’d read many times as a child. In this picture book, the naughty bits were always cleverly covered up. Thinking he wanted a synonym for “fig leaf,” Martha had offered the word antipudic, from the Latin pudor meaning “shame.” Many listeners responded, suggesting that the word he really wanted was bowdlerize, meaning “to remove improper or offensive material.” This eponym comes from Thomas Bowdler, whose sister ghost-edited The Family Shakespeare in 1818 containing censored versions of Shakespeare’s plays. This is part of a complete episode.
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