Very Punny Young Reporter

Curt-lineby Curt Kovener

A Tom Swifty is a play on words that follows an unvarying pattern and relies on a punning relationship between the way an adverb describes a speaker and at the same time refers significantly to the import of the speaker’s statement.

For instance, “I know who turned off the lights,” Tom hinted darkly.

Tom Swift was the brainchild of publisher and writer of children’s fiction Edward L. Stratemeyer (1862-1930). He first used the name “Tom Swift” for the title character in “Shorthand Tom; the exploits of a young reporter”, in 1894

Even today, there are circles of cunning linguists who still create eye rolling to thought provoking puns intended to give an intellectual smile to the reader.

Some of these examples you will quickly get. Others may take some studying.

“I love sweet potatoes,” Tom yammered.

“I flunked this lousy exam,” said Tom testily.

“I’m wearing my wedding ring,” said Tom with abandon.

“Five cups of tea from one bag is too much,” said Tom weakly.

“I insist on naming the first male insect,” said Tom adamantly.

“This salad dressing has too much vinegar,” said Tom acidly.

“I can’t believe I ate the whole pineapple,” Tom said dolefully

“I just swallowed a fishing lure,” said Tom with baited breath.

“This is mutiny!” said Tom bountifully.

“This apple is sour!” said Tom bitterly.

“You’re busted!” said the policeman to Dolly Parton.

“Rowing too much hurts my hands,” said Tom callously.

“I’m dying,” Tom croaked.

“I’ve spotted more blackbirds than you have,” Tom crowed.

“@#$%*! I’ve struck oil,” said Tom crudely

“I failed my electrocardiogram,” said Tom faint-heartedly.

“I’m ‘drawing’ the butter,” Tom clarified

“I can eat one hundred and forty-four,” Tom boasted grossly.

“I’ve been having an incontinence problem,” Tom gushed.

“I told you not to ride that horse,” Tom nagged.

“When I swore, my mother made me eat soap,” said Tom zestfully.

“Honey, put on that see-through thing,” said Tom negligently.

“My pencil is dull,” said Tom pointlessly.

“I’ll brew some more coffee,” said Tom perkily.

“I don’t like measles or chickenpox!” said Tom rashly.

“I’m taking this ship back in to the dock,” Tom reported.

“Those cars we shipped have a defective part,” Tom recalled.

“How long will I have to wait for a table?” asked Tom without reservation.

“I haven’t had an accident in ten years,” said Tom recklessly.

“I will NOT splurge on a circuit-breaker,” Tom refused.

“I love hot dogs,” said Tom with relish.

“I’ll be at the back of the boat,” said Tom sternly.