Roald Dahl's Revolting Rhymes pulled from Aldi shelves

Roald Dahl's Revolting Rhymes.

Roald Dahl's Revolting Rhymes.

The Aldi supermarket chain has removed iconic Roald Dahl children's book Revolting Rhymes from its shelves after complaints from customers about the use of the word "slut".

The offending word is found in Dahl's comical take on the Cinderella fairy tale.

In it, the prince sees Cinderella in her impoverished rags as he goes house to house trying to find the owner of the shoe left behind at the palace ball.

"The Prince cried, 'Who's this dirty slut?" the poem reads. "'Off with her nut! Off with her nut!'"

Revolting Rhymes, first published in 1982, is a collection of poems which takes six well-known fairy tales and gives them a modern, comical spin.

The Macquarie Dictionary defines "slut" as a "dirty, slovenly woman" or as a promiscuous woman or man.

Dictionary editor Susan Butler said the basic sense of the word  was "dirty".

And, while the word originally applied to women, in modern usage it could refer to a man or a woman.

"Probably in British use, there's connotations of class," she said.

But she warned against letting words take control of people's decisions.

"Once you start reacting to any word with a gut reaction, rather than an intellectual reaction, then you've lost control," she said.

"You are letting the words run you."

A spokeswoman for Aldi confirmed the chain had removed copies of Revolting Rhymes from its stores following "comments by a limited number of concerned customers regarding the language used in this particular book".

The picture books only went on sale on Wednesday.

On Wednesday, one customer posted to the Aldi Australia Facebook page: "My neighbour bought a Roald Dahl Brooke from your store today and there is a unacceptable word in it for kids!!! Not ok! [sic]"

Within hours of Aldi's decision becoming public, its Facebook page was inundated with critical comments.

"I am appalled at Aldi withdrawing the Roald Dahl book, Revolting Rhymes," one customer wrote.

"I am a frequent shopper at your Rydalmere store -- BUT NO MORE!! You people are absolutely pathetic to cave in to such a petty complaint about one word in this book."

Another appalled parent defended Roald Dahl's language and blamed the "wowser brigade".

"What IS wrong with you?! That book is a childhood classic, one that I loved as a child and one that I had planned to go in and buy for my own children this week," they wrote.

"Roald Dahl's brilliantly hilarious, subversive and inspiring works should be compulsory reading for every child. Hugely disappointed in you Aldi."

One Facebook user asked if Aldi would now stop selling dictionaries that contained "bad words".

What do you think? Did Aldi do the right thing when it pulled Revolting Rhymes?

​SMH

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