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Fifty Swifties

[see: Wikipedia: Tom Swifties and Tom Swifties Written By An Author Willing To Go To Any Lengths To Make A Tom Swifty Thus Resulting In Constructions That Often Require More Work For Readers Than For The Author. All of the below are AFAIK original to SSC.]

“Pennies look really different under a microscope,” Tom said magnificently.

“A griffin is a kind of flying lion,” Tom said uproariously

“Our flight path has brought us directly above Yellowstone National Park” Tom said overbearingly.

“Obama absolutely buried Romney in the election!” Tom said intermittently.

“I grew two inches last year!” Tom said ambiguously

“I want to trick one or another rich woman into marrying me so I can steal her fortune,” Tom said consummately

“The auction is now open,” Tom said forbiddingly.

“I deny everything!” Tom said all-knowingly.

“The telegraph network was over capacity, so you’ll have to send your message again” Tom said remorsefully.

“Ender, the Formics have dug themselves into fortifications!” Tom observed trenchantly

“I’m going to miss work for the next few days, I’m stuck doing my civic duty at the courthouse,” Tom said injuriously

“The Zoroastrians seem to control a disproportionate amount of India’s wealth,” Tom said parsimoniously

“Nana seems to be developing Tourette syndrome,” Tom said grammatically.

“This prison will be the perfect place for my unethical Human Centipede style experiments,” Tom said confusingly.

“The bounty hunter was my favorite character in Star Wars,” Tom said prophetically.

“Brutha, the Great God is not just a turtle, but also within the hearts of all mankind,” Tom said ominously.

“Chelsea Manning mailed me one of her teeth,” Tom said transcendentally.

“I got a job producing another season of Lassie,” Tom said moronically.

“I was out at the brothel until after midnight,” Tom said scintillatingly.

“I’m sorry, but the lady is spoken for,” Tom said mistakenly.

“I’m going to an all-you-can-eat restaurant tonight,” Tom said forgetfully.

“The girl from my blind date last night was a 4/10,” Tom said metaphorically.

“The medication cured my autism but also made me gain weight,” Tom said fatalistically.

“I used to have to walk everywhere,” Tom said precariously.

“Hades seems like a pretty credible guy,” Tom said disbelievingly.

“That commercial really helped spread awareness of the risks of intelligence explosions,” Tom said admiringly

“To think this entire tree grew from a single nut in just a few years,” Tom said exceedingly quickly

“I got selected for the role of Juan Peron in an Andrew Lloyd Webber musical!” Tom said inevitably

“After playing Juan Peron, no one ever cast me in a play again,” Tom said exactingly

“SAT scores should be given more weight in college admissions,” Tom protested.

“I will start a campaign to convert @aristosophy and @donovanable to Catharism,” Tom would prognosticate.

“The Notorious B.I.G.’s death was a predictable result of his career,” Tom would rhapsodize.

“The zoo’s exhibit on African wildlife was a big disappointment,” Tom said hypocritically

“It’s the Leviathan!” Tom said superficially

“I’m afraid you’ve got an atrial septal defect,” Tom said whole-heartedly

“I first met my wife in the restroom at a bar,” Tom said accommodatingly

“I picked up a nice new casual shirt,” Tom said apologetically

“The cat-goddess is a threat to the American way of life,” Tom said bombastically.

“I can’t figure out how to stop our boat!” Tom said cantankerously

“Satan is the original source of evil,” Tom said urbanely

“I can slay the Jabberwock,” Tom said demonstrably

“I realize I missed the meeting by two whole hours,” Tom said isolatedly

“Kosher kitchens need separate plates for milk and meat,” Tom said judiciously

“Bill Clinton got a divorce!” Tom said exhilarated

“Lower-ranked demons can kiss my ass,” Tom said imprudently

“Help, I got stuck inside this cattle pen,” Tom said inoffensively

“My throne sits on the floor,” Tom said lackadaisically

“It costs one thirty cent stamp to send one letter,” Tom said permissively

“I forbid you to take the ladder to the topmost room of my house,” Tom said anti-climatically.

“Ho ho fucking ho!” customarily.

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90 Responses to Fifty Swifties

  1. Steve Reilly says:

    “Sorry I got it in your eye!” Tom ejaculated.

    (OK, that was filthy, so there’s no way I’m hitting “Post Comment”. Said Steve, wryly.)

  2. Alicorn says:

    I think “bite my ass” goes better with “imprudently”.

  3. suntzuanime says:

    “Off topic, but is SSC taking a really long time to load for anybody else?” Tom said, after a long pause while he waited for SSC to load.

  4. Anonymous says:

    After the first few, I made a game of reading only the dialog tags and trying to guess what you’d do with them. Got about 30% right.

    • RCF says:

      I tried to do that, but it’s hard to not read the second part. I take it the blog software doesn’t support spoilers tags?

  5. Elissa says:

    “The hepatectomy was a success,” Tom delivered patiently.

  6. Matthew says:

    Sigh. “This is why we can’t have nice things” Tom said porously.

  7. sibilants says:

    “I sentence you to death” Tom said punnishly

  8. Matthew says:

    “I’m not being contrarian!” Tom said implausibly.

    (works on two levels!)

  9. Anonymous says:

    “I’m never giving something up for a religious holiday ever again,” Tom said unrelentingly.

  10. Multiheaded says:

    Fuck this is brilliant.

    “Ho ho fucking ho!” customarily.

    …explain for non-native speakers? Like, I get it, “hoe”, and “cuss”, but?

  11. Ialdabaoth says:

    My face is bleeding.
    You made my face bleed. I think your post gave me Ebola.

    Why you do?

  12. Elissa says:

    Alternatively: “We commissioned a Boeing 747 to return the Lunar Module,” Tom said apologetically.

  13. Anonymous says:

    “Freeze the tree creature!” Tom said enticingly.

  14. blacktrance says:

    My favorite Tom Swifty is still
    “I have multiple personalities,” said Tom being frank.

  15. Anonymous says:

    “Professor, teach us about Lolita again,” said Tom lecherously.

  16. Anonymous says:

    So I went to the Wikipedia page and got stuck for several seconds on:

    “Oh, I’m not a professor,” he said quickly.

    “No professor?” cried Miss Perkman indignantly.

    • Douglas Knight says:

      Me too.

      • Kevin P says:

        I feel a bit stupid admitting this, but I still don’t get it…?

        • Steve Reilly says:

          Those ones aren’t jokes. They’re from the actual tom Swift books. As Wikipedia notes, “A stylistic idiosyncrasy of at least some books in this series was that the author, “Victor Appleton,” went to great trouble to avoid repetition of the unadorned word “said”;” So the jokes came about mocking the writing style of those ones.

  17. Vulture says:

    “I just don’t have the heart to scam them out of their particle accelerator,” Tom said unconcernedly.

  18. Thomas Eliot says:

    “I really like my favorite sex worker. I should send her a present,” Van Gogh said endearingly.

    “And this one, I’m going to melt!” Hitler said assiduously.

  19. Anonymous says:

    I especially like the verb ones, though. (Some of these are probably too obvious to be original:)

    “We must get the evergreen’s attention,” Tom opined.

    “A polynomial could fit more precisely!” Tom interpolated.

    “Molten gold could be quite viscous,” Tom argued.

    “That isn’t even a real bird,” Tom snarked.

    “The growth on her arm has swallowed me alive!” Tom insisted.

    • RCF says:

      “I had to sell my Gulfstream”, Tom explained.

    • RCF says:

      “Roxanne, you don’t have to put on the red light”, Tom exhorted.

      “Why couldn’t you have served a chardonnay rather than a lager?” Tom whined.

  20. Vulture says:

    I especially like the verb ones, though. (Some of these are probably too obvious to be original:)

    “We must get the evergreen’s attention,” Tom opined.
    “A polynomial could fit more precisely!” Tom interpolated.
    “The gas in that light bulb could turn very viscous if it was cooled” Tom argued.
    “That isn’t even a real bird,” Tom snarked.
    “The growth on her arm has swallowed me alive!” Tom insisted.

  21. Corey says:

    “Apples and honey are a late medieval Ashkenazi tradition,” Tom informed Atrocious Anna.

  22. Dan says:

    “There’s nothing like Christmas dinner at the Clauses’,” Tom articulated.

    “If we just talk this out, I’m sure we can reach an agreement,” Tom said ominously.

    “This corn pudding tastes strangely refreshing,” Tom said with amazement. (Apologies to Alicorn)

    “Austrian economists deserve the same respect as Baron Keynes,” Tom surmises.

    “I can’t believe he shushed me when I wasn’t even the one who was talking,” Tom said shamelessly.

    “I’m sick of you twisting my words around and making up some hidden meaning to every fucking thing that I say!” Tom spat.

    • Multiheaded says:

      “If we just talk this out, I’m sure we can reach an agreement,” Tom said ominously.

      Took me a minute.

  23. reavowed says:

    “That weirdo keeps leaving,” Tom said frequently.
    “We should dig up the other corpses too,” Tom said disinterestedly
    “Help! I’ve fallen into the vat of champagne and tears that’s over here!” Tom shouted indescribably.

  24. Taradino C. says:

    “If the Duke boys joined forces with Knight Industries, they could make the greatest car of all time,” said Tom, speaking generally.

  25. Anonymous says:

    “Poles for rent!” said Aleksander lecherously.

  26. Rachael says:

    I love these!

    “Will you marry me?” said Tom witheringly.

    And the third instalment in Tom’s musical theatre career:
    “. .. Though I did get a part as a backing singer in the next show,” said Tom indecorously.

  27. Keratin says:

    “I’m not going to brush my teeth for a month!” said Tom precariously.

  28. fubarobfusco says:

    “I’ve successfully crossed a pigeon with an ox,” Tom squabbled.

    “The former vice president is too stressed out on account of climate change. I’ve sent him some cute kitten photos to help him relax,” Tom said categorically.

    “My yohimbine cocktail mixer is popular at sex parties,” Tom said platonically.

  29. Oligopsony says:

    “I drowned the Athenian gladly, and would do it again,” said Tom sanctimoniously.

    “It is awfully fortunate that I topdecked that Black Knight,” Tom surmised.

    “What do you take me for? Some sort of common trash who deny his guests the gift of modern ventilation?” said Tom, putting on airs.

  30. Steve Reilly says:

    “Why does my beloved Ottoman Empire have so many annoying bugs?” asked Tom, passionately.

  31. Arthur B. says:

    “I’ll eat that expired yoghurt!” said Tom daringly.

    • Arthur B. says:

      a few more terrible ones
      “You’re going back to prison!” said Tom deliberately
      “Shorry I can’t talk while eating a banana” said Tom faithfully
      “Here’s the address of a shelter for homeless prostitutes” said Tom honestly
      “Inhale from the balloon, it’s fun” said Tom obnoxiously

  32. J. Quinton says:

    “That commercial really helped spread awareness of the risks of intelligence explosions,” Tom said bombastically

    “There are only two options for this” Tom said fallaciously

    “Java is much better than C++ if you want your apps to run similarly across platforms” Tom objected

    “You should use more distortion on your guitar solo” wailed Tom

    “I would choose to two-box on Omega” said Tom rationally

    “This guy is a charlatan” Tom quacked

    “Well I really fucked this up, huh?” said Tom ruinously

    “Stop going off on tangents” Tom signed

    “My head is going to literally explode if I keep reading these things” Tom said figuratively

    “I’ve got to stop using System 1 to write these things ” said Tom… swiftly.

  33. Symmetry says:

    “Man, that was a tasty diamond” Tom said hopefully.

  34. Ian Osmond says:

    A pair of acquaintances of mine who were hired to write a Tom Swift book say that they were instructed NOT to put any Tom Swifties in.

  35. AK says:

    “I got a replacement corrective lens today,” Tom said pneumonically.

    “Listening to all that Slayer, Anthrax and Megadeth motivated me to eat an orchestra’s brass section,” said Tom, before throwing up the horns metallically.

  36. Edivad says:

    These are awesome – didn’t know this kind of pun!

    Only one I can think of right now (and I’m not sure it’s very good) is…

    “Clare, I’m leaving you.” Tom declared

  37. Caleb says:

    “I install outdoor lighting,” -Tom elucidated. (Or, for added subtlety: “-said Lucy.”)

    “Everyone should visit the Vatican at least once,” Tom pontificated.

  38. Histocrat says:

    “Frankly, I got zilch, no joy, over Quincy’s grandmother’s copropraxia-based show”, Tom said pangrammatically.

    • Scott Alexander says:


    • Joe from London says:

      If SSC had some kind of upvote system, amazing comments like this would be seen by more people. No idea how feasible that is; just throwing it out there.

      For a while, this was the only website where I read *all* the comments.

  39. nobody says:

    “I’ll ordain you as a priest if your golf score is good enough” said Tom parsimoniously.

  40. AK says:

    “For the third time – GTFO the fuck out,” Tom said recursively.

  41. Steven Bukal says:

    Don’t think I’d ever heard of these before, very fun :3
    A few I came up with, without claiming complete originality:

    “I no longer believe those things,” Tom exclaimed

    “Results from CERN confirmed the higgs boson,” Tom said matter-of-factly

    “I’ve decided to get a sex change operation”, Tina said predictably

    “What do you get when you add x and y?” Tom asked presumptively

    “And when you multiply x and y?” Tom continued productively

    “The eyes are the window to the soul,” Tom said provisionally

    “During the siege, each battery will target one of the four towers” Tom said, perspiring

    “Here’s the plan for our new scam,” Tom said contemplating

    “That pony will never be able to carry my gear,” Tom said a little hoarsely

    “I prefer chocolate over strawberry” Tom said, shaking

    “This gold chain was given to me by my mother” Tom said, mumbling

  42. “You should know Earth is also a target,” Tom said terrifyingly.

  43. Evan Thomas says:

    (First three come from a friend, who wasn’t going to post them, but I couldn’t not share them! Rest are mine, and all are original as far as we know.)

    “I am a universal blood donor,” said Tom ominously.
    “This insect left the hive and went independent,” said Tom arrogantly.
    “Throw the explosive at your enemy’s stomach to kill him for sure,” said Tom absentmindedly.
    “My cousin’s such a parasite,” said Tom relativistically.
    “I spilled orange soda on my keyboard,” said Tom fantastically.
    “Joe’s having a huge sale on saplings today,” Tom said histrionically.
    “I got an amazing deal on this camping equipment,” said Tom penitently.
    “I’m going to use this lumber to make a dining room set for Richard,” Tom said predictably.
    “I’m always making people laugh with my zany antics,” said Tom icily.
    “I’ve concocted a cure for Epstein-Barr,” Tom said monotonically.
    “I have a full tank of oxygen with my scuba gear,” said Tom erroneously.
    “My best friend has a degree from Hebrew University,” said Tom gradually.
    “Is this tiny street behind my nemesis’ building?” wondered Superman dyslexically.

  44. Anonymous says:

    “Shut up, Mr. Harvey Oswald,” said Tom too quietly.

  45. Anonymous says:

    “Everyone can send in their resignation notices online,” Tom said equitably.

  46. Vulture says:

    “We’re relatives, it won’t be weird if we share a sleeping bag,” Tom said insistently.

  47. Vulture says:

    “Shariah law is pretty clear about the punishment for thievery,” Tom said offhandedly.

  48. Luke Somers says:

    (commence missing the point in 3, 2, 1…)
    If the buggers are in fortifications, that makes them extra-easy to take out… what would effective fortifications consist of? Simply strong points of counterfire? Space-stretching to reduce the effective radius?

    Non-‘molecular’ matter like neutronium? (metals aren’t molecular, but the MD seemed not to observe this nicety)

  49. zz says:

    “I’m going to write a minimalist, functional programming language,” Tom Gerald schemed.

  50. Cameron Shea says:

    “If only I had the energy to write down what groceries I need to buy,” Tom said listlessly.

  51. fubarobfusco says:

    “Are you going to wear your new raccoon suit this year? I’m going as a fox, same as usual,” Tom conferred.

  52. “My hookup with Ms. Silverman was enthusiastically consentful,” Tom said ceremoniously.