ivman's blague rotating header image loading ... please wait....

Tom Swifties, part 2

picture of Tom Swift books

Last weekend I posted the first half of my list of Tom Swifties. I learned from a comment to that post that there are a number of eBooks from the Tom Swift series that are free to download. You can do that at http://www.gutenberg.org/browse/authors/a#a267 Using the search function at the top of that page you can find eBooks by many authors in many languages.

The picture on the right is a Tom Swift book published in 1929 in which he marries his longtime girlfriend, Mary Nestor. When you think about what a Ford Model A looked like at that time, you realize how much this book was ahead of its time with this forerunner of the RV's of today.

As I promised, here is the second half of my list of Tom Swifties.

"I guess we could add a yellow flower to the bouquet," said Tom lackadaisically.

"I'm tired of trying to understand girls," said Tom lassitudinously.

"Which floor would you like to go to?" asked Tom liftingly.

"I forgot what to pick up at the store," said Tom listlessly.

"Look at those newborn kittens," said Tom literally.

"Oh come on! It's not that hard — just add this list of X numbers and divide the sum by X," said Tom meanly.

"A thousand thanks, monsieur," said Tom mercifully.

"She's already married," said Tom mistakenly.

"This isn't real turtle soup," said Tom mockingly.

"Sometimes I like to milk cows, and other times I prefer to eat pickles," said Tom moodily.

"At the end of an auction I always end up buying too much and am dead tired," said Tom morbidly.

"How come my clock makes only 'toc's?" Tom asked mystically.

"You're a real zero," said Tom naughtily.

"That's the last time I'll pet a lion," said Tom offhandedly.

"Hey, great! My glasses are all fogged up," said Tom optimistically.

"Oh, well, another broken window," said Tom painlessly.

"From time to time I have to renew my subscriptions," said Tom periodically.

"Hey, how's about brewing me some coffee," said Tom perkily.

"This dessert is divine," said Tom piously.

"Nevermore will I read The Raven," said Tom poetically.

"This pencil is so dull," said Tom pointlessly.

"I joined the Lion's Club," said Tom pridefully.

"We've located Tiger Woods," said Tom profoundly.

"I enjoy starting fights when I play hockey," said Tom puckishly.

"I cut my nails too short," said Tom quickly.

"I must patch this coat." said Tom raggedly.

"The river has gotten rough," said Tom rapidly.

"That's all you get for now," said Tom rationally.

"I could eat a crow!" said Tom ravenously.

"I have books about Communism, said Tom readily.

"I'd paint it blue again," said Tom reassuringly.

"I haven't had an accident in ten years," said Tom recklessly.

"That was such a nice mirror!" said Tom reflectively.

"I have to take the telegrapher's test again, said Tom remorsefully.

"I'll have to dig another ditch around that castle," sighed Tom remotely.

"I'm an ordained minister," said Tom reverently.

"Frankly, my dear, should I care?" asked Tom rhetorically.

"I've had enough of these Paris streets," said Tom ruefully.

"I need a home run hitter," said Tom ruthlessly.

"To cook well, you must use the right herbs," said Tom sagely.

"I'm too tired for this evening's tryst with a mermaid," said Tom sedately.

"No, you may not buy my halibut?" Tom asked selfishly.

"Have I been to Egypt?" asked Tom senilely.

"I'd love to see my penny collection again," said Tom sentimentally.

"There's the dog star," said Tom seriously.

"I've been neglecting my flock," said Tom sheepishly.

"Never fear. Some day, people will be able to take civil action against computers," said Tom soothingly.

"Plenty of starch, if you please," said Tom stiffly.

"After the realignment that car is so easy to steer!" Tom said straightforwardly.

"Moby Dick is a really nice book," said Tom superficially.

"You've already shown me how to do that," said Tom tautly.

"I buy only Newsweek," said Tom timelessly.

"Is your name Timothy or Russell?" asked Tom timorously.

"We have another flat," sighed Tom tiredly.

"I was adopted," said Tom transparently.

"I'll always be a ditch digger," said Tom trenchantly.

"You punched me in the stomach three times," said Tom triumphantly.

"I'm a softball pitcher," said Tom underhandedly.

"I want to date around," said Tom unsteadily.

"I'd love some Chinese food," said Tom wantonly.

"I passed my electrocardiogram," said Tom wholeheartedly.

"As my sole heir, you get it all," said Tom willfully.

" ..., and you lose a few," said Tom winsomely.

"I know all the wherefores," said Tom wisely.

"I can't get this horse to stop," said Tom woefully.

"I'm going to knit a sweater for my guppy," said Tom wolfishly.

"I'll have the dark bread," said Tom wryly.

"When I didn't talk nicely, my mother made me eat soap," said Tom zestfully.

"You know, I'm beginning to HATE adverbs!" said Tom. 😀


After the first post of Tom Swifties, several people commented that they were surprised to learn that the series of books had all been written under one pseudonym, but by several authors. If you'd like to learn the names of some of the men and women who share that pseudonym, you can see them at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victor_Appleton.

I'll give you a couple of weeks to recover from these before posting some puns called Croakers. In the Tom Swifty family, Croakers use verbs, rather than adverbs, to deliver the pun-chline.


"The people who believe in a god who doesn't know what to do don't believe in the God of the Bible." - Dr. Drew Conley

=^..^= =^..^=

A bumper sticker my wife and I saw on the car ahead of us this week — "This driver carries no cash. He's married."

Print This Post Print This Post

If you enjoyed this post, to get updates when I post to my blog, sign up for your preferred method below — RSS, Twitter, or e-mail.

5 Comments on “Tom Swifties, part 2”

  1. #1 Brian
    on May 23rd, 2009 at 9:59 am

    I grew up reading either the third or the fourth series’ Tom Swift reboot. Along with the original Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew series. Isn’t it amazing that Tom can invent all those nifty gadgets and solve all those weird mysteries and still be underage by the last book! 🙂 Kind of like those Box Car Children, there are over 100 books but when it’s all said and done they are still adolescents.

  2. #2 Sue
    on May 23rd, 2009 at 11:16 am

    As for authorship of Tom Swift, the same holds true for Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys, and Dana Girls. Franklin W. Dixon and Carolyn Keene are also pseudonyms, and they utilized a variety of ghostwriters. The Nancy Drew series authors were mostly men.

  3. #3 Rob
    on May 23rd, 2009 at 11:59 am

    @Brian – All the young people in these series were amazing! Not only were they and their peers ageless, they were far beyond their age in abilities and the freedom to use those abilities instead of doing homework and household chores. 😉

    @Sue – I had heard that about the Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys books. When I was in junior high and high school I used a lot of my earnings from my little part-time jobs to buy Hardy Boys books. They went to my son who enjoyed them, and they are now in the classroom where he teaches 4th grade.

  4. #4 Ann
    on May 23rd, 2009 at 6:20 pm

    I felt so disillusioned when I first learned that there wasn’t anyone named Carolyn Keene. There were 56 books in the original series. Of those 56 books, only five of them were written by men.

    The Stratemeyer Syndicate would write a detailed outline for each book and then pay hack writers a one time payment. The Syndicate collected any and all royalties. Names such as Carolyn Keene are known as collective pen names.

    Stratemeyer was behind the Bobbsey Twins, Nancy Drew, Dana Girls, Hardy Boys, Ruth Fielding, Tom Swift, and many other series. It is why “Laura Lee Hope” could publish her first Bobbsey Twins book in 1905 and still be writing new books in the 1970s.

    Re: The Boxcar Children…The first 19 books in the series were written by Gertrude Chandler Warner. Warner was a first-grade teacher who wrote the books for her students. For those books, Warner was not a pseudonym. In those books, the four children did grow older with the last book having the oldest Alden (Henry) being in college. However, how long can you keep a children’s series going if all of the characters grow up?

    The last book written by Warner was published in 1976. She died in 1979. New books written by a number of ghostwriters were published starting in 1991 with book #20. Book #119 is/will be released this year. Beginning with #20, the Alden children’s ages are frozen in time. Henry is forever 14. Jessie is 12. Violet is 10, and Benny is 5.

    Some of this came from Wikipedia. The rest of it came out of my own head 🙂 I’m not an elementary school teacher or anything like that. I just happen to be addicted to children’s fiction.

  5. #5 Donna
    on May 24th, 2009 at 3:50 pm

    Trixie Belden was my favorite growing up. That was another one where they started out growing older for the first 7 books or so, then stayed the same ages forever. As a child, I was puzzled by the contradictions that I found from book to book (I collected them all), but they were solved later when I found out that this series also was written by a “series” of ghost writers. The best were the 13th and 14th books – Mystery on Cobbett’s Island and The Mystery of the Emeralds.