I have always been intrigued by the English use of asterisks to replace vowels in words considered as offensive, and the reasons it seems somewhat language-specific. My (very related) questions on this are:
- Is there a name for this process? This is encompassed by bowdlerisation, but is there a more specific way to refer to it?
- This works fairly well for short words (fck, sht, c*nt), but how is it used with longer words, if deemed offensive (I can't think of any long word that would be very offensive, maybe that makes this a non-question)?
In my native French, words are typically bowlderized with first letter and an ellipsis: “M..., tu es vraiment c...!” (Sh*t, you're such a dumb-*ss!). It's a bit dated, though.