Murray’s Tom Swifties
Tom Swifties are verbal puns wherein the double entrendreis contained in the adverb used to describe a comment that Tom makes. The term comes from the Tom Swift novels of Victor Appleton (a collective pseudonym used by the various authors, beginning with Edward L. Stratemeyer, who have written more than 100 books in the series). One of the characteristic features of these stories is that they rarely miss an opportunity to add a qualifying adverb or phrase to avoid the prosaic “he said” or “she said”. From this came the archetypal Tom Swifty: “We must hurry,” said Tom swiftly.
There are many lists of Tom Swifties, one of the most complete being that on the fun-with-words.com webpage.
Here are a few of mine (in alphabetical order):
“He took too much LSD in the 60’s,” said Tom acidly.
“There’s only one good thing about St. Louis,” said Tom archly.
“I didn’t like this Angostura,” said Tom bitterly.
“I love Looney Tunes,” said Tom blankly.
“Let’s go live on an island in the Bay of Naples,” said Tom capriciously.
“I just love watching old TV cooking shows,” said Tom childishly.
“I’ll never take another class with that f–king professor,” said Tom coarsely.
“This cement needs more aggregate,” said Tom concretely.
“I do like these English potato chips,” said Tom crisply.
“We all have our burdens to bear,” said Tom crossly.
“That’s the worst embroidery I’ve ever seen,” said Tom cruelly.
“Beam me up, Scottie,” said Tom curtly.
“I will finish the Iditarod this year,” said Tom doggedly.
“I hate this Jamaican hairstyle,” said Tom dreadfully.
“Not too much sherry in my martini,” said Tom dryly.
“I’m scared to go camping on the coast of North Carolina,” said Tom fearfully.
“You should play this a half-note lower,” said Tom flatly.
“I love my London apartment,” said Tom flatly.
“I think that you may be too old to dance with the ingénue, Mr. Astaire,” said Tom gingerly.
“I don’t like this fairy tale,” said Tom grimly.
“I drank too much of that rum,” said Tom groggily.
“I always shout myself silly at the Kentucky Derby,” said Tom hoarsely.
“The celebrity USO tours just aren’t what they used to be,” said Tom hopelessly.
“Stan Lee creates such great comic books,” Tom marveled.
“I think I have a big inheritance coming,” said Tom meekly.
“You better stay out of Mr. Wilson’s yard,” Tom warned menacingly.
“I’m going to be sued,” said Tom plaintively.
“I love these verses about Annabel Lee,” said Tom poetically.
“He lives like a dog,” said Tom pugnaciously.
“Watch out for the white water,” said Tom rapidly.
“I like this new-fangled Winchester rifle,” said Tom repeatedly.
“I’ll be 65 on my next birthday,” said Tom retiringly.
“I miss my old Winnie-the-Pooh stuffed animals,” said Tom ruefully.
“I’ve ripped out part of my Old Testament,” said Tom ruthlessly.
“I hate reading about all of the DUI accidents among teens,” said Tom sadly.
“I make a great bolognaise,” said Tom saucily.
“Play this a half-note higher,” said Tom sharply.
“I forgot to feed the pigs,” admitted Tom sloppily.
“Mr. Faulkner, The Furyis too short of a title,” said Tom soundly.
“Rats! I almost made that strike,” said Tom sparingly.
“My favorite Shakespearean character is Ariel,” said Tom spritely.
“If you want to be a sailor, you must learn the difference between the front and the back of a ship,” said Tom sternly.
“I’ll never understand quarks,” said Tom strangely.
“Could I have a lot of sherry in my manhattan?” Tom asked sweetly.
“I finally bought a little British sports car,” said Tom triumphantly.
(or, “I finally made it to the Champs Elysées,” said Tom triumphantly.)
“I always know which way the wind is blowing,” said Tom vainly.
“I’ll never understand dark matter,” said Tom whimpishly.
“I miss that old-time whiskey,” said Tom wryly.