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Tom Swifty

Tom Swiftys are named after the Tom Swift American adventure novels. The author Victor Appleton[?] (Edward L. Stratemeyer[?] or Howard Garis[?] in Stratemeyer's employ) would always describe every action with an adverb: Tom never just said anything, he said it carefully, excitedly, eagerly, etc. A Tom Swifty is a particular type of pun centering on the adverb in the following formula:

       "You should go clean the lawn," Tom said rakishly.
       "I hate being on welfare," Tom said dolefully.
       "Those knives are dangerous," Tom said pointedly.
       "I dropped my toothpaste!" Tom said crestfallenly.
       "I'm wearing my wedding ring," Tom said with abandon.
       "I'm a boxer," Tom said flatly.


The British children's magazine The Beano had a long-standing tradition of items on the letters page being signed in this way, for example "yours wonderingly".

See also: Pun

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