Tom Swifties


Anyone else remember these?  They’re a fun bit of wordplay using adverbs in unexpected ways. 

Some examples: 

“I just shaved,” said Tom smoothly.

“This candy is delicious,” said Tom sweetly.

“Hey, give me back that whiskey,” said Tom dispiritedly.

“No, I didn’t have an accident,” said Tom recklessly.


I was reminded of Tom Swifties this morning when I came across one that I’d never heard that really made me laugh.

“That’s the last time I’ll ever feed an alligator,” said Tom off-handedly.

Do YOU have any to add?



About dayuntoday

I'm a wonderer. I spend a lot of time mulling, pondering, and cogitating. This is just a place to park some of those thoughts.
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21 Responses to Tom Swifties

  1. fwren says:

    I’ve never heard of Tom Swifties!  Thanks for sharing ~ I agree ~ that last one brings a chuckle ~

  2. bafocus_2 says:

    I have heard of Tom Swift, but don’t beleive I’ve ever heard of Tom Swifties.

  3. lglavy says:

    Ronda, isn’t there a real name for these?  I love em and drive my family crazy with them! 

  4. homefire says:

    @lglavy – I don’t know of another name for them, but there very well may be one.  I googled it, but all I found was adverbial puns–is that what you were thinking of?

  5. ElizabethDNB says:

    “I’m off to pick gooseberries” said Tom sourly.

  6. homefire says:

    @ElizabethDNB – YEA!  Someone’s finally participating.     Thanks!  “I think I know who turned off the lights,” muttered Tom darkly.

  7. “Give me my sword!” demanded Tom sharply.

  8. “Honey, I bought a new box of laundry detergent that works well in hot and cold water,” said Tom cheerfully.(OK.  That one was a bit of a stretch.)

  9. “Find me some small pieces of wood so I can start this fire,” requested Tom tenderly.(I figure if reckless can work for “wreckless” then tender can work for tinder.)

  10. “Jump off the back of the boat,” Tom said sternly.

  11. “I’m singing in the university men’s chorus,” said Tom gleefully.

  12. OK.  A half dozen entries is enough for now.  This has been fun, though!  Thanks for the post!

  13. “Could you make me a cup of tea?” asked Tom briskly.

  14. “I’ll post some more Tom Swifties in 7 days,” said Tom weakly.

  15. “Someone ripped the pages out of my Bible between the book of Judges and the book of 1 Samuel,” cried Tom ruthlessly.

  16. Mandy says:

    @davidpendleton – LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I LoVe your last one!! =) It made me laugh!!

  17. homefire says:

    @davidpendleton – Ruthlessly…now that one is GOOD.  We were doing this on the drive home this evening, and came up with some great ones and some reeeally lame ones.  Very fun!My favorite was “I can’t remember what I was supposed to buy,” said Tom listlessly.

  18. mamaglop says:

    No Tom Swifties, but I like Spoonerisms.

  19. @mamaglop – So you spike loonerisms, huh?

  20. homefire says:

    @mamaglop – oh, yeah, those are lots of fun.  We use them a lot around here, but you do have to watch it.  don’t get too much in the habit or you may say something really embarrassing! 

  21. mamaglop says:

    @davidpendleton – 61Yes, but don’t expect me to come up with any off the cuff.  A lot of them do have an embarassing element.

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