maledicta balloon

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maledicta balloon (plural maledicta balloons)

  1. A comic graphic element used to enclose obscenities, oaths, and curses.
    • 1985, Alexander Humez, ABC Et Cetera: The Life & Times of the Roman Alphabet‎, page 9:
      It is this euphemistic use of the asterisk that is doubtless responsible for the sign's regular inclusion in the cartoonists maledicta balloon.