I'm looking for a word that would be roughly equivalent to "the process of becoming a taboo," specifically in the context of film/literary criticism, where the "taboomanization" of sexuality serves as a common literary theme in the type of fiction I'm writing about.


tabooization is used:


Here is a random example from The International Politics of Sport in the Twentieth Century By James Riordan, Arnd Krüger:

Along with it arose a strong 'tabooization' of sexual themes generally known as Victorianism.


Probably "demonization" is the closest we've got. When Captain Cook brought the word "tabu" back from Polynesia, it caught on quickly in English because it's a darned useful term. Another term is "Bowdlerization," which refers to the act of deleting obscene or forbidden material in text, and often has literary applications.

  • although demonization is not quite the same, Bowdlerization is definitely placed in the "future use" and "pull out at parties" pile – crasic Apr 20 '11 at 15:22
  • Whoever's dishing out the downvotes is cordially invited to explain why. – The Raven Apr 21 '11 at 0:56

I would go with demonization, as suggested by The Raven. Otherwise, a less marked word referring to the process could be proscription (from the meaning of proscribe that is synonymous to condemn).


I found a German word, but it translates back to "to make taboo". I see phrases of "becoming taboo", but no particular word.

  • Would you mind posting the words, "to make taboo" could work – crasic Apr 20 '11 at 15:28
  • "tabuisieren" is the German word. – foggyone Apr 20 '11 at 15:29
  • Also see "to place under taboo." – The Raven Apr 20 '11 at 15:45

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