Tom Swifty


Also found in: Wikipedia.

Tom Swifty

A punning word game. Tom Swift was the hero of a series of boys' adventure books first published in 1910. Author Victor Apppleton rarely used the word “said” without adding adverbs, a style that someone turned into a word game in which punsters add adverbs that suit what Tom is saying. Classic examples of Tom Swiftys (or Swifties) are “Sesame,” said Tom openly; “I only use one herb when I cook,” said Tom sagely; and “I swallowed some of the glass from that broken window,” Tom said painfully.
See also: tom
References in periodicals archive ?
A Tom Swifty is when an author of a cheapo thriller can't figure out an escape route for his/her hero, tied up to a railway line when the express train and the outlaws are approaching.
Since the early 1990's, there has been a growing interest in the computer generation of humorous texts and small humour-generation programmes have been implemented: the LIBJOG system (Raskin & Attardo, 1994), The Tom Swifty generator (Lessard & Levinson, 1992), the JAPE riddle generator (Binsted & Ritchie, 1994), the HCPP generator (Lessard et al.
Now you can make your very own maple syrup," she said sweetly--if you'll forgive a Tom Swifty.
In a tom swifty, a pun is made on an adverb or adverbial phrase.