Tom Swifties: The Ultimate Puns


(These aren’t aren’t your dad’s puns…these are energy puns! TURBOPUNS!)

I’m sure everyone knew about these but me, but I’m going to blog about them anyway.

A “Tom Swifty” originates from the Tom Swift series of books wherein the author pretty much did anything to avoid using the word “said” (e.g., “Let’s go,” he said). Instead, there was frequent use of adverbs or adverbials (words that act like adverbs to modify a verb or clause).

A true “Tom Swifty” is one of these words/phrases but with a pun incorporated. Some basic examples:

  • “I decided to come back to the group,” Tom rejoined.
  • “I love hot dogs,” said Tom with relish.
  • “I’d like my money back, and some,” said Tom with interest.

These things are fantastic. Here are some of my favorites:

  • “I’m losing my hair,” Tom bawled.
  • “I dropped my toothpaste,” Tom said, crestfallen.
  • “I have a BA in social work,” said Tom with a degree of concern.
  • “It made the grass wet,” said Tom after due consideration.
  • “I can’t believe I ate the whole pineapple!” Tom said dolefully.
  • “That’s the last time I pet a lion,” Tom said offhandedly.
  • “I have a split personality,” said Tom, being frank.
  • “I shouldn’t sleep on railroad tracks,” Tom said, beside himself.
  • “Let’s play a C, E, and G,” said Tom’s band, in accord.
  • “The doctor had to remove my left ventricle,” said Tom half-heartedly.
  • “I like ragged margins,” said Tom without justification.
  • “I’d better repeat that SOS message,” said Tom remorsefully.
  • “You call this a musical?” asked Les miserably.

I love it.

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