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Is there a name for the more general case of "1337 (leet) speak" where you replace some letters in a word with other letters or symbols, as well as numbers while still conveying the original word?

One use case being when posting in a chat room or forum board where they might employ a censorship bot to block out certain offensive words.

Examples:

  • @$$ => ass
  • shi!t => shit
  • cvnt => cunt
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  • related: english.stackexchange.com/questions/261750/…
    – Adam Head
    Dec 15 '16 at 17:49
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    How about mischaracterize?
    – Jacinto
    Dec 15 '16 at 18:08
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    I've recently read a post where they used bowdlerize for that purpose. But out of context it might be misunderstood: people might think the word had been replaced by a different word.
    – Jacinto
    Dec 15 '16 at 18:16
  • @Jacinto bowdlerize definitely seems the closest so far.. though it seems almost to be a better term for what the chat room bot is doing, rather than my selective character replacement.
    – Adam Head
    Dec 15 '16 at 19:39
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The use of censorship or hiding of a word are sometimes called a gawlix. Named after the man who started using them.

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  • Can you provide any more supporting info on this? Just did a quick google of "gawlix"... and nothing very obviously related showed up.
    – Adam Head
    Dec 15 '16 at 19:14
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    I think perhaps you mean grawlix.
    – vpn
    Dec 15 '16 at 21:46
  • That name gawlix looks like a gawlix, to me - very suspect. Likewise grawlix. ;-)
    – Drew
    Dec 15 '16 at 21:46
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This is a case of substitution cipher.

M-W:

substitution cipher noun

: a cipher in which the letters of the plaintext are systematically replaced by substitute letters

cipher noun, often attributive

2 a : a method of transforming a text in order to conceal its meaning

a cipher that can't be decoded

It is also sometimes simply just called code.

M-W:

code noun

3 b : a system of symbols (as letters or numbers) used to represent assigned and often secret meanings

The message was sent in code.

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  • 2
    The problem is substitution cipher is a type of cipher, and a cipher aims at concealing the meaning, which is the opposite of what the OP asks for.
    – Jacinto
    Dec 15 '16 at 18:47
  • Yes, @Jacinto. The cipher here is concealing the meaning from the big brother bot. Dec 15 '16 at 18:48
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    Substitution Cipher doesn't really fit because it has ALL letters replaced with new letters/characters. Thus the original word is no longer discernible.
    – Adam Head
    Dec 15 '16 at 19:29
  • @AdamHead, yes! Some letters are replaced by themselves, that's how this cipher works! Dec 15 '16 at 19:40
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    I suppose. But that's not the general expectation with a Substitution Cipher
    – Adam Head
    Dec 15 '16 at 19:42

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