expunge (v.)

c. 1600, from Latin expungere "prick out, blot out, mark (a name on a list) for deletion" by pricking dots above or below it, literally "prick out," from ex- "out" (see ex-) + pungere "to prick, pierce" (from suffixed form of PIE root *peuk- "to prick").

According to OED, taken by early lexicographers in English to "denote actual obliteration by pricking;" it adds that the sense probably was influenced by sponge (v.). Related: Expunged; expunging; expungible.