Grawlix and other bad words


Grawlix may not be a word you are familiar with but you have seen grawlixes (the plural of grawlix) before.  Thanks to fellow writer, Jeff White, I am now knowledgeable about this.

The basic definition of grawlix is a sequence of typographical symbols used to represent a non-specific swear word, profane word or phrase.   It usually appears something like this:  #@$%*!

Mort Walker, an American cartoonist (the creator of “Beetle Bailey” an “Hi and Lois” comics) first used the term.

The term first appeared in his 1964 article called Let’s get down to grawlixes.

Grawlixes also are known as jarns and nittles.Mort Walker was a clever guy, it seems. He also came up with some other words to describe action in comics.  These include:

Plewds  Those flying sweat droplets that appear around a character’s head to show that he is working hard or stressed.

Squeans  Little starbursts or circles that signify intoxication, dizziness, or sickness.

Briffits   Clouds of dust that hang in the spot where a swiftly departing character or object was previously standing.


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