Tom Swifties

“It’s time for recess,” Tom said playfully.
“I can turn on the lights,” Tom said powerfully.

Tom Swifties are a type of humor from a series of old books.  I have not read the books but I love the odd humor in Tom Swifties.

A Tom Swiftie has Tom saying something in a way that relates humorously to the words that he spoke. Typically the sentences end with Tom said [adverb]. For example… “This coffee needs more sugar,” Tom said bitterly.  This is funny because coffee has a bitter taste, and Tom said this bitterly.

Here are a few more examples I found on Wikipedia with a short explanation I added in parentheses:

  • “Pass me the shellfish,” said Tom crabbily. (Crabs have shells.)
  • “We just struck oil!” Tom gushed. (Oil gushes from a well.)
  • “Get to the back of the ship!” Tom said sternly. (The back of a boat is called the stern.)
  • “I forgot what I needed at the store,” Tom said listlessly. (If you make a list, you won’t forget.)

If you create a Tom Swiftie you can send it to me and I will add them to an upcoming post.  Or you can leave a comment with your Tom Swiftie.

About stfleming

Reader, writer, teacher, thinker and dreamer. Lector, escritor, profesor, pensador y soñador. I teach in Lima, Peru. Enseño en Lima, Peru.
This entry was posted in ELL, ESL, humor, Joke, pun and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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