A fig-leaf edition is such a bowdlerized text, deriving from the practice of covering the genitals of nudes in classical and Renaissance statues and paintings with fig leaves.
A student edition of the novel Fahrenheit 451was expurgated to remove a variety of content. This was ironic given the subject matter of the novel involves burning books. This continued for a dozen years before it was brought to author Ray Bradbury's attention and he coerced the publisher to reinstate the material.
"The Crabfish" (known also as "The Sea Crabb"), an English folk song dating back to the mid-1800s about a man who places a crab into a chamber pot, unbeknownst to his wife, who later uses the pot without looking, and is attacked by the crab. Over the years, sanitized versions of the song were released in which a lobster or crab grabs the wife by the nose instead of by the genitals or that imply the location of the wounds by censoring the rhyming word in the second couplet. For instance, "Children, children, bring the looking glass / Come and see the crayfish that bit your mother's a-face" (arse).
A Boston-area ban on Upton Sinclair's novel Oil! - owing to a short motel sex scene - prompted the author to assemble a 150-copy fig-leaf edition with the nine offending pages blacked out as a publicity stunt.
In 1938 a jazz song "Flat Foot Floogie (with a Floy Floy)" peaked at number two on US charts. The original lyrics were sung with the word "floozie", meaning a sexually promiscuous woman, or a prostitute, but record company Vocalion objected. Hence the word was substituted with the almost similar sounding title word "floogie" in the second recording. The "floy floy" in the title was a slang term for a veneral disease, but that was not widely known at the time. In the lyrics it is sung repeatedly "floy-doy", which was widely thought as a nonsense refrain. Since the lyrics were regarded as nonsense the song failed to catch the attention of censors.
In 1920, an American publisher bowdlerized the George Ergerton translation of Knut Hamsun'sHunger.
The American version of the counting rhyme "Eeny, meeny, miny, moe", which originally contained the word "nigger", is now taught with a replacement word, such as "tiger".
Many Internet message boards and forums use automatic wordfiltering to block offensive words and phrases from being published or automatically amend them to more innocuous substitutes such as asterisks or nonsense. This often catches innocent words also: see Scunthorpe problem. Users frequently self-bowdlerize their own writing by using slight misspellings or variants, such as 'fcuk' or 'pron'.
Chinese internet filters--the Great Firewall--also work to block politically-sensitive terms and characters from being published on most public sites or loaded by domestic ISPs.
The video game South Park: The Fractured But Whole was originally going to have the name The Butthole of Time. However, marketers would not promote anything with a vulgarity in its title, so "butthole" was replaced with the homophone "but whole".