Roald Dahl Books Are Rewritten to Remove “Offensive” Words Like “Fat” or “Ugly”


In the day and age where language is a powerful tool that can easily hurt people (so said all Gen-Zers), it is always important to be sensitive about how we talk or phrase certain sentences.

To ensure that they are also on this track, Ronald Dahl’s books are being slightly rewritten to become more inclusive and ensure that “offensive” words and phrases are removed. This is so that the books “can be continued to be enjoyed by all today”.

Hundreds of Changes Across Dahl’s Works

One such example of “changing out offensive words” is in one of Dahl’s many famous books, Charlie and The Chocolate Factory (1964).

In the book, the character Augustus Gloop was described as “fat”. However, he is described as “enormous” in the edited version.


Likewise, in another book, The Twits, Mrs Twit used to be called “ugly and beastly”. Now, however, she is described as just “beastly”.

Other than descriptive changes, some of Dahl’s books also see new sentences originally not written by him.

One such example is in his book, The Witches, wherein one of the paragraphs where witches were described as bald beneath their wigs. To ensure that no one took offence, the line “There are plenty of other reasons why women might wear wigs, and there is certainly nothing wrong with that” was added.

Verses in some of Dahl’s books were also completely replaced.

In his book, James and The Giant Peach, the character, Centipede sang, “Aunt Sponge was terrifically fat, and tremendously flabby at that”. It is replaced by the rhyme, “Aunt Sponge was a nasty old brute, and deserved to be squashed by the fruit”.

While you might not agree with the previous changes, this next one might be something that is acceptable.

Gender-neutral terms were also introduced into his books. One example that can be seen is in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, where Oompa Loompas used to be called “small men”. They are now written and are called “small people”.

Changes Were Made in Conjunction with Inclusive Minds

Puffin and the Roald Dahl Story Company made the changes in conjunction with Inclusive Minds, a collective for people passionate about inclusivity and children’s accessibility to literature.

In an interview, Alexandra Strick, who represented Inclusive Minds, said, “We aim to ensure authentic representation by working closely with the book world and with those who have lived experience of any facet of diversity.”

If one is observant enough when looking at the newly published books, one will notice that a notice is written at the bottom of the copyright page.

It says, “The wonderful words of Roald Dahl can transport you to different worlds and introduce you to the most marvellous characters. This book was written many years ago, and so we regularly review the language to ensure that it can continue to be enjoyed by all today.”