Profanity Filtering 101: The Grawlix

Brian Pontarelli


The first in a series of posts about the finer points of profanity filtering...

You've seen it all over the @#$%&! place, but probably didn't know that this ubiquitous string of characters has a name that was coined almost 50 years ago by cartoonist Mort Walker, the creator of "Beetle Bailey" and "Hi and Lois."

"Grawlixes" is one of a series of great words (Agitrons, Blurgits, Plewds, Farkles, Digitrons,  and many more...) that Walker invented to describe the devices cartoonists employ to convey specific types of information in their comic strips. Loudly used to express obscenities right in the middle of the family oriented funny pages, the Grawlix reigns as the grandaddy of all profanity filtering options and practically defines the category of "replacement characters," a topic we'll explore in more detail in an upcoming post.

Learn more about Grawlixes online at: