Swifties 3: The Race Is Not To The Swifty

[see: Wikipedia: Tom Swifties, 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, Fifty Swifties, and Fifty More Swifties. Previously on Twitter here. Some of these are from the comments to the last post.]

1. “She eventually absorbed so much radiation that her bottom half mutated into a fish’s tail,” Tom said mercurially.

2. “Stay away from nuns,” Tom said conventionally.

3. “Back during Late Antiquity, everyone lived in fear of Attila and his hordes,” Tom said a hundred times.

4. “It said he was eaten by a bare, so either that’s a typo or he was devoured by the act of exposing something,” Tom said verbatim.

5. “You’ll have to stand,” Tom said deceitfully.

6. “Little plays are such a useful way to teach children good behavior,” Tom said schizoaffectively.

7. “…” Tom said immutably.

8. “I’m an only child,” Tom said in unison.

9. “Look, a Confederate general!” Tom said icily.

10. “Why yes ma’am, I AM the Tom from those Twitter one-liners you’ve heard,” Tom said pungently.

11. “I’m not going to make a deathbed conversion,” Tom said diagnostically.

12. “I’m using behavioral conditioning to train lions to keep quiet,” Tom said to Rorschach.

13. “I used to be a priest, but I was defrocked for an improper relationship on the job,” Tom said inundated at work.

14. “I’m here helping people displaced by the earthquake,” Tom said with intensity.

15. “We’ve been pinned underneath fallen logs,” Tom said treasonously.

16. “I went rock-climbing with my girlfriend,” Tom updated.

17. “The defibrillator worked!” Tom said, repulsed.

18. “My karate instructor died,” Tom said, desensitized.

19. “Godzilla, I can’t believe you devoured part of South Africa,” Tom transvaluated.

20. “I was running late today, so I had lunch in my cubicle,” Tom incubated.

21. “But they dug too greedily, and too deep,” Tom undermined.

22. “The new environmental regulations will make mineral extraction less profitable,” Tom said, determined.

23. “He’s sleeping six feet under now,” Tom said depressed.

24. “I guess I lost the genetic lottery,” Tom said, drawing a portrait.

25. “SKULLS FOR THE SKULL THRONE!” Tom said, skulkingly.

26. “I’ve gotten 0.028 countries to join together in a political and economic union,” Tom said in his milieu.

27. “For here I am, sitting in a tin can, re-entering Earth’s atmosphere,” Major Tom said incandescently.

28. “The mailman just left my mail on the dirty ground?! Really?!” Tom said postindustrially.

29. “I’m writing a book based on ‘The Tell-Tale Heart’, except instead of a horror story it’s a comedy,” Tom said politely.

30. “Is the guy in that coffin Dracula, or just an ordinary corpse?” Tom countermanded.

31. “I think China has enough foreign exchange reserves,” Tom said for example.

32. “Every time the server goes down, I have a Norse god zap it with lightning to get it back up,” Tom said with authority.

33. “Help, I’ve been buried alive!” Tom engraved.

34. “I’ll never be an A-list celebrity” Tom berated. (source)

35. “If you were any good you’d have the Ambassador’s job,” Tom said disconsolately. (source)

36. “Germany should exit the Eurozone” Tom remarked. (source)

37. “Maybe he was knighted for his contributions to Austrian economics,” Tom surmises.

38. “We should give the Western US back to the Native Americans,” Tom said unsettlingly.

39. “I’m not going to give that jerk Procrustes the satisfaction,” Tom said self-defeatingly. (source)

40. “This new-ideas conference has sure gotten effeminately quaint.” Tom tweeted. (source)

41. “Everyone’s date of birth is in 2007,” Tom said alternatively. (source)

42. “Weasley for president!” Tom said electronically. (source)

43. “Let the other guy take the paddle,” Tom said heroically. (source)

44. “Let’s make a deal – I’ll stop doing sit-ups if you do,” Tom said abstrusely. (source)

45. “My former wife mentioned me in her newest paper,” Tom said excitedly. (source)

46. “How Can Mirrors Be Real If Our Eyes Aren’t Real?”, Tom asked unreliably. (source)

47. “Your hair looks terrible,” Tom said distressingly. (source)

48. “I’ve stolen the treasures of the Shrine of the Bab,” Tom said, high-falutin’.

49. “We should go to the petting zoo, I hear they have cattle now,” Tom said, compatible with me.

50. “After Kant’s death, he left his old machine gun to forces plotting a military coup,” Tom said, willing that his maxim could make a general rule.

116 thoughts on “Swifties 3: The Race Is Not To The Swifty

  1. anon

    “Don’t tell anyone you heard this from me, but there are a lot of downsides to polearms” Tom said conspiratorially.

  2. zolltan

    Sorry if these are repeats

    “Ses yeux sont trop laids pour lui donner le droit de participer dans l’élection” Tom disenfranchised
    “A wolf in sheep’s clothing is one thing, but a sheep in a bear’s? That’s just ridiculous” Tom lambasted the movie
    “‘Sup?” Tom supposed
    “Tengo comida” Tom contorted
    “Between you and me, tricking a dog is easy because they’re not very smart” Tom confided
    “And remember, Call me Levi, Tom Levi” Tom said in vengeance (a stretch, you say?)
    “Your floor routine was flawless, except you ran out of time. The judges will deduct points for that” Tom said when he matriculated
    “Haha, you think you can destroy me? Well you can’t” Tom the Hydra responded
    “The hell are you in jail for?” Tom said concussively

    1. Who wouldn't want to be Anonymous


      “Screw it, we’re done with the Eurozone,” Angela Merkel remarked.

      “Uhg, my pencil lines keep getting smudged,” Tom remarked.

      1. Blazinghand

        Maybe better set up as:

        “War is hell,” Tom remarked.

        since I think a pun on Remarque is funnier than one on marking paper or on german currency

        1. Who wouldn't want to be Anonymous

          I was going for variety. You could do a double whammy:

          “If only I had more printer paper, I could build this thing a lot smaller,” Noah remarked.

  3. jeorgun

    “You are that pork roast despite knowing it wasn’t kosher”, Tom insinuated.

    “Fathers Hackett and McGuire are here, but I feel like someone’s missing”, Tom noted.

    “I know what part of speech ‘bird’ is”, Tom announced.

  4. GCBill

    “I’ve started practicing fluid calligraphy again,” Tom said recursively.

    “Given the circumstances of conception, I’m not sure why Rosemary wouldn’t just have an abortion,” Tom said with a sense of impending trouble.

    “This chord progression needs a less ambiguous resolution,” Tom said platonically.

    “The sex was so poor that I’m asking your pimp for a refund,” Tom said unbiasedly.

    “I don’t know enough about insect nervous systems to feel comfortable with any magnifying glass shenanigans,” Tom said, unwilling to antagonize.

    “Once I discovered singing in college I knew I had to major in music performance,” Tom said with univocal certainty.

    “That was the most grotesque movie I’ve ever watched,” Tom said acerbically.

    “I love eating trees but that last one really upset my stomach,” Tom said while terminally ill.

    “Would you mind enlarging that coin photograph?,” Tom said magnificently.

  5. Chris Thomas

    “I figured it out while reading Poe; you are my wife’s lost Lenore. But I never thought she would be so bold as to bring you to the old spot by the lake where we fell in love.” Tom said to the woman while in his retro kayak, cucked to meet her.

    “Every person I sentence to death is like another notch on my bedpost.” Tom said judgmentally.

    “Global warming will poison this planet to the core!” Tom said interestingly.

    “In Ocarina of Time, the weapon adult Link finds in Lake Hylia is clearly the best.” Tom said heteronormatively.

  6. Anthony

    “I love my new job shredding cheese”, Tom said gratefully.

    “If Corbyn is elected Prime Minister, Britain will join the Euro”, Tom expounded.

    “Oh no! The Jetson’s dog fell off their flying car”, Tom said disastrously.

    “Now that I’ve finished my meal, I’ll stand up”, Tom hesitated.

    “I had to keep dialing over and over to get through”, Tom recalled.

    “Treebeard has sent us a troop of ten”, Tom said decadently.

    “If anyone orders Merlot I am leaving. I am not drinking fucking Merlot!” Tom whined.

  7. David Friedman

    This clutter of swifties wastes both Scott and his readers’ attention
    There are many more interesting topics which I would be happy to mention

    Said Tom Alexandrianly

    1. Anthony

      “I know he’s abnormally energetic and there are risks if he becomes dysphoric, but the law requires me to let him go”, Tom said Friedmanically. (Sorry.)

  8. Chris Thomas

    Re: 37, are you also referencing the fact that Mises’s biography is subtitled “The Last Knight of Liberalism”?

  9. Leo

    “This is the one day of the year when we all celebrate how lucky we are to have hands” said Tom, manifestly.

  10. FullMeta_Rationalist

    “You could change the oil,” said Tom constructively.

    “Emptiness is form,” said Tom brazenly.

    “The knight is dishonest!” said Tom slyly.

    “I went to the strip club,” said Tom honestly.

    “All lives matter,” Tom pandered.

    “I hope the jello holds the food coloring,” said Tom expectantly.

    “I don’t have another 75 years to wait,” said Tom committedly.

    “If we lose, I’ll personally kill every tenth soldier,” Tom decided. [0]

    “I just wanna give back to the community,” said Dan harmoniously.

    “The singularity can only help us,” said Tom protectively.

    “Let’s try a shade of pink,” offered Tom.

    “Hi George,” said Tom egregiously.

    “The galaxy is in Orion’s belt,” said Tom seriously.

    “The winds of change are blowing…” said Tom vainly.

    “A man never steps in the same river twice,” Tom reminded.

    “Stop being so defensive,” Tom instigated.

    “Steal underpants … profit,” reckoned Tom polynomially.

    “If A and B and C are true, Z must be true,” said Achilles to the Tortoise, exponentially.

    “Don’t leave the water running,” Tom spouted.

    “The picnic may resume,” Tom exhaled.

    “This raises more red flags than 1956 China,” said Tom flagrantly.

    “I’ve finished my to-do list,” Tom denoted.

    “I’ll just buy a new shirt,” Tom redressed.

    [0] I used “decided” in the last swifty post. But in a new manner. So this one still counts.

    (It’s coming to the point where I forget if I’ve used these before.)

    1. Abelian Grape

      “Do women’s undergarments have Buddha-nature?” asked Tom brazenly.

      (Or if you prefer, “Do row vectors have Buddha-nature?”)

      1. FullMeta_Rationalist

        Kudos for the correction! I knew there was a brassiere pun in there. But I couldn’t generate one off the cuff, so I gave up.

        The potential for the braket pun escaped my notice, however.

  11. Tom Hunt

    I felt I should stick to some kind of theme….

    “The recent increase in demand has led to long waits for buying semiautomatic rifles,” Tom said linearly.

    “Today I saw a miniature model chariot pulled by four large rodents,” Tom said quadratically.

    “I bought a novelty pen made entirely out of copper,” Tom said cubically.

    “I can never stop at just one pint of beer,” Tom said quartically.

    “We were lost at sea so long we had to eat the parrot,” Tom said polynomially.

    “The quickest way to level up is to kill these giant walking trees,” Tom said exponentially.

    “I improvised a percussion instrument by pounding on these tree trunks,” Tom said logarithmically.

    1. Anthony

      “I made the actor playing the Pope laugh with just the lightest touch”, Tom said quintically.

      “I put a checkmark on the wall for every girl I’ve slept with”, Tom said sextically.

      “I had a really bad reaction to that infection”, Tom said septically.

  12. The House Carpenter

    (since there are now well over 150 Swifties on this blog, and I haven’t read them all, some may have been done before)

    “OK, I admit it: I have a pen fetish,” said Tom, incorrectly.

    “Yes, I went through a neopagan phase,” said Tom wickedly.

    “This drink must be getting to me, because everybody looks really hot all of a sudden,” said Tom unfailingly.

    “I’m stuck on this math problem”, said Tom, in Urdu cant.

    “I was just hunting ducks,” deducted Tom.

    “You don’t need to breed your own geese,” said Tom in Portugese.

    “I need to go to the toilet,” said Tom in Tok Pisin.

    (warning: this last one is pretty terrible)

    “Ow! My foot hurts,” said Tom in Swahili.

  13. jaimeastorga2000

    “My ancestors built a powerful empire in pre-Columbian South America,” said Tom incandescently.

  14. darxan

    “I got a part in a musical about a military dictator’s wife,” Tom said inevitably.
    “I thing the waitress spat in my coffee,” Tom said flamboyantly.
    “I can’t put a square peg in a round hole,” Tom said discomfitedly.
    “Large Hadron Collider may be a giant scam,” Tom said concernedly.
    “Mereswine population is down to 60%,” Tom said for intended purpose.
    “We must take back Middle East for Christendom,” Tom said relevantly.
    “Screw you! And your father! And your father’s father! …,” Tom said recursively.

    1. Noah Motion

      I’m mildly disappointed that no one has indicated any appreciation for my entries, so I will express appreciation for yours, in case you’re feeling mild disappointment, too. Well done.

    1. Nornagest

      I feel like the objective here isn’t entertainment so much as showing everyone how far you’ll go in the service of a pun.

    2. Doctor Mist

      I always feel let down by the ones that are sensible only in print because the pronunciation is all wrong. “Incandescently” is lovely in print but makes no sense aloud.

      But I cannot come near any of these, so too bad for me. With any luck I can find the right audience to pass off Procrustes as my own. 🙂

      1. Cerebral Paul Z.

        The other ones which let me down are the ones with adverbs that no one would actually use to modify “said”.

  15. Buckyballas

    “Pour some water on those Ents!”, said Tom tremendously.

    “My alignment is Chaotic Good”, said Tom dandily.

  16. jy3

    “Destroy the memo”, Tom said denotativily.

    “I was experimenting with sounding”, Tom said indicatively.

    “I need this load of ore smelted”, Tom said ironically.

    “We need to keep the fire going!”, Tom bellowed.

    “Only royalty may be unshaven”, Tom said mockingly.

    “N0, +ha+ 1s n0t an 0n-+he-j0b 1njury, s1nc3 y0u w3r3 n0t 0n fla+ gr0und”, Tom explained incompletely.


    “Is this some kind of joke?” Tom asked self-consciously.

    “This is a lot of effort for just a joke”, Tom said deliriously Never mind, there was supposed to be something clever with multicolored <span> tags there.

  17. Noah Motion

    “My best bet is to discard these twos,” Tom deduced.

    “These sea snails will be easier to catch if we give them a dose of sedatives,” Tom concluded.

    “I’ll get a shorter sentence if I wow the judge with my beautiful voice,” Tom said pleasingly.

    “What a pain in the butt!” Tom asserted.

    “This is the second new operating system I’ve gotten the software to work on,” Tom reported.

    “That cockroach is simply wrong about AI risk!” Tom pestered.

  18. MattW

    “That hooker knows her stuff,” Tom said horribly.

    “My girlfriend doesn’t know that person,” Tom boohooed.

    “Hey Lee! You spelled odontonosology wrong,” Tom said morosely.

    “James ain’t got nothing on me,” Tom said with great aplomb.

    “Forget about the sign. Just take seven times seventy-nine,” Tom said absolutely livid.

    “Get your head in the game, Colin,” Tom said (in tears) cephalically.

  19. Chris Conner

    “I couldn’t remember that knight’s name, so I just kept using his honorific,” Tom said surreptitiously.

  20. fubarobfusco

    “I got arrested when I wore shorts,” said Tom melodically.

    “The five-cent coin must die!” said Tom harmonically.

    “I shall smash your patella, burn it, grind it up, and stomp on the bits!” Tom said in four-part harmony.

    “I’m taking a tour of the nuclear power plant,” said Tom in reaction.

    “My customers bought up all the lime soda with the misprinted label,” Tom said out of spite.

    “I’m addicted to Moldbug,” said Tom anorexically.

    “I’m going to sleep now,” said Tom ambiently.

    “I’m in another argument about HBD on the Internet,” Tom erased.

    1. Qaz

      I feel like “that time Scott banned someone for a bad swifty” is a legendary moment in SSC history.

      1. Susebron

        I feel like “that time Scott banned someone for a bad an amazing swifty” is a legendary an infamous moment in SSC history.

        Fixed that for you.

  21. TheAncientGeek

    “I must set about inventing a great thinking machine that will turn this world into a paradise” said Tom, feyly.

    “There’s no need to keep mentioning that” said Tom, dryly.

  22. onyomi

    Did you see these?

    The Washington Post has also published the winning submissions to its yearly contest, in which readers are asked to supply alternate meanings for common words. And the winners are:

    1. Coffee, n. The person upon whom one coughs.

    2. Flabbergasted, adj. Appalled by discovering how much weight one has

    3. Abdicate, v. To give up all hope of ever having a flat stomach.

    4. Esplanade, v. To attempt an explanation while drunk.

    5. Willy-nilly, adj. Impotent.

    6. Negligent, adj. Absentmindedly answering the door when wearing only a

    7. Lymph, v. To walk with a lisp.

    8. Gargoyle, n. Olive-flavored mouthwash.

    9. Flatulence, n. Emergency vehicle that picks up someone who has been
    run over by a steamroller.

    10. Balderdash, n. A rapidly receding hairline.

    11. Testicle, n. A humorous question on an exam.

    12. Rectitude, n. The formal, dignified bearing adopted by proctologists.

    13. Pokemon, n. A Rastafarian proctologist.

    14. Oyster, n. A person who sprinkles his conversation with Yiddishisms.

    15. Frisbeetarianism, n. The belief that, after death, the soul flies up
    onto the roof and gets stuck there.

    16. Circumvent, n. An opening in the front of jockey shorts worn by
    Jewish men

    1. Steve Brecher

      I agree they’re delicious, but as best I can determine via search engines “The Washington Post has … published the winning submissions to its yearly contest” is a hoary internet meme not reflective of an actual WP tradition.

      But it’s inspirational:

      Contest, n., an exam taken by prisoners.

      1. Cerebral Paul Z.

        “That story about the newspaper competition has been debunked,” Tom said ex-post-facto.

      1. onyomi

        This seems to be a George Carlin joke which got mixed into the list.

        Given that the whole story about a “contest” may be fake, whoever actually made the list probably just made a mistake.

    2. BeefSnakStikR

      Parts of speech:

      Adjective: an advertisement recorded onto a removable disk

      Preposition: an opinion held by an upper-class student

      Participle: part of an icicle

      Past participle: part of an icicle that has melted

      Pronoun: a person trained and educated to work as a noun

      1. RCF

        General practice is to find a synonym for any word that appears in the original. E.g. “portion of an icicle” rather than “part of an icicle”.

      1. Chris Conner

        Some people prefer to figure these things out on their own. Is it too late to ask you to rot-13 that?

  23. Jordan D.

    “I demand information on all of your undersea vehicles!” read Tom’s subpeona.

    “I’d better purchase some new video recording equipment before the Senator’s speech.” said Tom bicamerally.

    “Once you try this new smartphone, you can’t put it down!” said Tom apprehensively.

    1. Charlie

      “Come here and try this drink of rum, blended ice, coconut cream, and peaches” Tom subpoenaed.

    1. kala

      “And to celebrate our newfound freedom, you should buy some libertarian merchandise from the freedom shop! It’s currently 50% off for a limited time!” Tom said sociably.

  24. Winter Shaker

    “If you do bad stuff, you’ll go to Hell, where it’s hot enough to cauterize flesh” said Tom sincerely.

  25. Renaissance Cascade

    “I used to be a salmon,” Tom said beneficially.

    “I’m flying,” Tom said energetically.

    “I can’t stop thinking about peanut butter candy,” Tom responded.

    “There used to be seven, but now there are four,” Tom said deceptively.

    “I’ll explain some basic facts about the second planet,” Tom said intravenously.

    “Every single one of them stank,” Tom recalled.

    “Getting your soul sucked out might be cool,” Tom said fundamentally.

    “Here are a thousand grams of water”, Tom said literally

    “I’m going to stop coloring my skin,” Tom said unimportantly

    “Send all the bugs to China!” Tom said unimportantly

    “It’s a deconstruction of the relationship between the audience and their expectations of the text as defined by the medium through which it is expressed”, said Tom, departing.

    “I’m not a libertarian,” Tom stated.

    “Chris Pratt is a 10 out of 10,” Tom said, celebrating.

    “I’m getting taller,” Tom groaned.

    “The goat upstairs has been getting calmer,” Tom said melodramatically.

    “It’s a robot version of my lord, the god of the sun,” Tom said melodramatically.

    “It’s made of tin, argon, and lead,” Tom snarled.

    “My phantom bodyguard has left,” Tom said irregardless.

    “There are seven of them,” Tom siezed.

    “Come over, and bring the gold,” Tom said, overcome with guilt.

    “I’ve got gold sickness,” Tom said guiltily.

    “Should I insult this fake sword or get rid of it?” Tom asked disproportionately.

    “It’s like commercials take place in a separate world,” Tom said adversely.

    “And now, a song commemorating Comic-Con,” Tom contributed.

    “I shipped the girl scout cookies again,” Tom said with resentment.

    “We outsourced your byte-storage job to a midget from another country,” Tom said, using little-endian.

    “My parents are having another girl,” Tom resisted.

    “I’m also placing additional bets,” Tom said, comorbid.

    “Use italics,” Tom skewered.

    1. Renaissance Cascade

      “You rub the lamp, and I’ll whisper the stanza twice to the genie’s jewelery,” Tom said, reverse-engineering.

      “My phone can detect tin,” Tom snapped.

      “I jabbed her,” Tom misspoke.

      “All of my hatred is directed at Ezekiel,” Tom said, fully clothed.

      “No, stupid bug, that guy is the one trying to tag you,” Tom said hesitantly.

      “We uploaded everyone, but it came at a terrible cost,” Tom said empirically.

      “Ew,” Tom discussed.

      “Yum, delicious underlings,” Tom vacillated.

      “This computer store has a section dedicated to old copies of Windows,” Tom said, docile.

      “I told you why I think I’m great – what about you?” Tom pryed.

      “We’ll be lighting the scented candles at four o’clock,” Tom said insensitively.

      “We need to parcel these out,” Tom said rationally.

      “Keeping a baby tree-creature earns me a lot of money,” Tom said incompetently.

      “I buy products to support awareness of colony collapse disorder,” Tom besmirched.

      “It’s not an artery,” Tom said, vain.

      “I’m eating sour fruit over the internet,” Tom eliminated.

      “I whack one off every stanza,” Tom said perversely.

    2. kala

      — “The goat upstairs has been getting calmer,” Tom said melodramatically.
      Should be the sheep upstairs, goats with horns are called bucks.

  26. Acedia

    “I’ll defend my favourite programming language to the death,” Tom said awkwardly.

    “Be quiet, I’m trying to count these beer bottles,” Tom said brutally.

    1. pneumatik

      “Wow, there’s a GNU project version of my favorite programming language,” Tom gawked.

  27. Chris

    Number 50 is obscenely clever.

    “I should host a meeting attended by all attendees of the conference in the time-traveling police call box ” Tom said interdisciplinarily.

    1. Creutzer

      I agree, 50 deserves a special mention for being absolutely brilliant with its perfect ambiguity.

      1. Godzillarissa

        I think calling the sentence “After Kant’s death (…)” a maxim is a bit far-fetched. It takes away a lot of elegance.

    2. CalmCanary

      I feel like the fact that Kant is doing the willing in the quotation and Tom is doing it in the following phrase detracts from it a lot. It should be something like “‘I leave my machine gun to forces plotting a military coup,’ said Kant, willing that his Maxim could make a general rule.”

  28. Shawn

    “The first of the month is coming up – you’d better get that check in the mail,” said Tom parentally.

  29. Dan

    “I’m taking a gap year,” Tom said unilaterally.

    “Now I’ll have to find someone else to be my successor,” Tom said with a resigned air.

    RE #37, I had this one:
    “Austrian economists deserve the same respect as Baron Keynes,” Tom surmises.

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