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Teacher's Digest

A Glossary of Tom Swifties

-A -

  "I'm wearing a ribbon round my arm," said Tom with abandon.  

  "I'm concerned about the number of people not attending," said Tom


  "I like modern painting," said Tom abstractly.  

  "Now I have the tools to chop down that tree," said Tom with a heavy accent.  

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

  "There's room for one more," Tom admitted.  

  "Here's your allowance for the next two weeks," Tom advanced.  

  "I'd like to eat seventeen cakes," Tom agreed.  

  "I'm halfway up a mountain," Tom alleged.  

  "There's no need for silence," Tom allowed.  

  "There seems to be at least one blood-sucking insect in every outhouse," said Tom  


  "It's a unit of electric current," said Tom amply.  

  "These propulsion systems were used by NASA on moon rockets," said Tom


  "I compliment the company that makes the Macintosh computer," said Tom


  "We can't have this and eat it too," said Tom archaically.  

  "It's an actual parameter, not a formal parameter," was Tom's argument.  

  "You have the right to remain silent," said Tom arrestingly.  

  "Someday I'll run the CIA," said Tom aspiringly.  

  "I've mailed the letter," Tom assented.  

  "I decided which car to purchase after looking at the pictures," said Tom



- B -

  "This boat is leaking," said Tom balefully.  

  "Give me a haircut," Tom said barbarously.  

  "I've been listening to the Brandenburg Concertos," Tom barked.  

  "This is the most common language used on micros," said Tom basically.  

  "I'm losing my hair," Tom bawled.  

  "Ouch! When I get stung, I want revenge," said Tom begrudgingly.  

  "I'm sure we can fool them into thinking this is pollen," said Tom beguilingly.  

  "I wonder why the hive's still empty," said Tom belatedly.  

  "I have to keep this fire alight," Tom bellowed.  

  "Why shouldn't I stir my coffee with a ballpoint pen?" Tom bickered.  

  "These bit patterns will be more readable in groups of 8," said Tom bitingly.  

  "I've only enough carpet for the hall and landing," said Tom with a blank stare.  

  "..." said Tom blankly.  

  "I need a pencil sharpener," said Tom bluntly.  

  "This wind is awful," blustered Tom.  

  "I think I'll use a different font," said Tom boldly.  

  "Are you all governors?" Tom asked, bored.  

  "I still haven't struck oil," said Tom boringly.  

  "This is mutiny!" said Tom bountifully.  

  "I presented my case to the judge," Tom said briefly.  

  "This blood-sucking insect likes French cheese," said Tom briefly.  

  "Use your own toothbrush!" Tom bristled.  


- C -

  "Rowing hurts my hands," said Tom callously.  

  "I have been reading Voltaire," Tom admitted candidly.  

  "I've been to a film festival in Southern France," said Tom cannily.  

  "I can't be bothered," said Tom carelessly.  

  "I don't work here on a regular basis," said Tom casually.  

  "Would you like some soda?" asked Tom caustically.  

  "That's price-fixing!" said Tom caustically.  

  "Have you seen my collection of ancient Chinese artifacts?" asked Tom charmingly.  

  "It's twelve noon," Tom chimed in.  

  "I've got to stop this motor," Tom choked.  

  "Another plate of seafood for me!" Tom clamored.  

  "We're off to Scotland," said Tom clandestinely.  

  "Pretend we were in the days before railways," Tom coached.  

  "Okay, you can switch on the electric chair now," said Tom conceitedly.  

  "Don't add too much water," said Tom with great concentration.  

  "The prisoner escaped down a rope," said Tom condescendingly.  

  "The prisoners set up a company," the warden confirmed.  

  "All right, I will allow the prisoners to wear perfume," the warden consented.  

  "I wonder if there's a number between seven and nine," said Tom considerately.  

  "Now, how can I trick Sidney?" Tom considered.  

  "I have a delivery of shoes for the prisoners," said Tom consolingly.  

  "Hey, what's it worth if I help you escape from prison?" asked Tom contemptuously.  

  "The escaped prisoner is camping out in the woods," said Tom contentedly.  

  "I'm mentioned in this book," said Tom contentedly.  

  "Europe needs more self-restraint," said Tom continently.  

  "I have writer's block," said Tom contritely.  

  "I find you guilty," said the judge with conviction.  

  "I'd like to be a Chinese labourer," said Tom coolly.  

  "Those cobs are amazing!" said Tom cornily.  

  "My friend and I steal things together," Tom corroborated.  

  "I manufacture tabletops for shops," said Tom counterproductively.  

  "Why is this telephone flex always tangled?" asked Tom coyly.  

  "How do you start a model-T Ford without a battery?" asked Tom crankily.  

  "I admire East End gangsters," said Tom crazily.  

  "I dropped the toothpaste," said Tom, crestfallen.  

  "I've struck oil!" said Tom crudely.  

  "The situation is grave," Tom said cryptically.  

  "Who discovered radium?" asked Tom curiously.  

  "I wonder where the next character is going to appear," said Tom with a cursory


  "I'm the butcher's assistant," said Tom cuttingly.  


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