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Hi

I was reading Wikipedia article on "Tom Swifty" and I couldn't understand the definition. For instance, the sentences under the "Examples" sound perfectly 'normal' to me. Please help me. Thank you

Tom Swifty
A Tom Swifty (or Tom Swiftie) is a phrase in which a quoted sentence is linked by a pun to the manner in which it is attributed. Tom Swifties may be considered a type of Wellerism .

Examples:
  • "I'll have a martini," said Tom, drily.
  • "Who left the toilet seat down?" Tom asked peevishly.
  • "Pass me the shellfish," said Tom crabbily.
  • "Adverbal puns are fun," said Tom swiftly.
  • "That's the last time I'll stick my arm in a lion's mouth," the lion-tamer said off-handedly.
  • "Can I go looking for the Grail again?" Tom requested.
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Hi,

I was reading Wikipedia article on "Tom Swifty" and I couldn't understand the definition. For instance, the sentences under the "Examples" sound perfectly 'normal' to me. Please help me. Thank you

They are normal and correct sentences. They just include a pun. Do you know what a pun is?

I have explained a few of them below. Think about the others. Puns are hard for English learners to understand.


Tom Swifty
A Tom Swifty (or Tom Swiftie) is a phrase in which a quoted sentence is linked by a pun to the manner in which it is attributed. Tom Swifties may be considered a type of Wellerism .

Examples:
  • "I'll have a martini," said Tom, drily. A common kid of martini is a dry martini, so the pun is in the suggestion of the word 'dry'.
  • "Who left the toilet seat down?" Tom asked peevishly. The pun is in the suggestion of the word 'pee' (slang for urinate)
  • "Pass me the shellfish," said Tom crabbily. A crab is a kind of shelfish
  • "Adverbal puns are fun," said Tom swiftly.
  • "That's the last time I'll stick my arm in a lion's mouth," the lion-tamer said off-handedly.
  • "Can I go looking for the Grail again?" Tom requested.”
Clive
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"Let us go home," said Tom, crisply. (let us = lettuce)

CJ