Tom Swifty

(redirected from Tom Swiftie)

Tom Swifty

A type of wordplay in which reported speech is followed by a description that creates a pun of some sort between the two. Presently she said, "I got you this gift." "We must hurry," said Tom swiftly.
See also: tom

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 ?
There's just one Internet hit for this 14-letter item, in a site dedicated to Tom Swifties: "I remember one time in Science class, I wanted to find out if they really did contain methane, so I pulled down my pants, squatted down and let 'er rip!" Tom said, overmatchingly."
Computational modeling of linguistic humour: Tom Swifties, in ALLC/ACH Joint Annual Conference, Oxford
When her fascination with the slippery nature of language is matched to her characters' own preoccupations, as it is for Abby or for the librarians of "Community Life" who amuse themselves by thinking up Tom Swifties ("I have to go to the hardware store, he said wrenchingly"), the stories soar.
Tom Swifties, jokes capitalizing on the overuse of adverbs in the Tom Swift boys' adventure books, amused the public for some time in spring and summer.
Of course the well-known palindromes, charades, Tom Swifties, transposals, lipograms (as you might not know, apart from the English translation A Void--and a Spanish, an Italian, a German, a Japanese, a Turkish and other translations [!]-there is also a Dutch translation [5] of the e-lipogram La Disparation by Georges Perec [6]), eponyms, word ladders, pangrams, word pyramids, spoonerisms, homonyms, collective nouns with a twist ("a handful of fingers", "a church of hypocrites", but the other hundred or so are not translatable that easily), chronograms, epigrams, rebuses ("M A Z T", in Dutch pronounced as "Em-a-zet-thee", meaning "Emma makes tea"), oxymorons, acronyms, acrostic verses, anagrams and alliterations.
That was enough to inspire the game called Tom Swifties. The object is to match the adverb with the quotation to produce, in each case, a high-flying pun.