SACREDFIG

Tom Swifties or Desi Twisties??

In Language on June 7, 2009 at 7:18 pm

This entry on Schott’s Vocab Blog in the New York Times has been reason for the biggest laughs we’ve laughed recently. The ‘weekend contest’ that accompanies the blog inviting readers to share their own seems to have been a huge success with eighty eight pages of comments and counting…..

According to the blog:

“Tom Swifties” are curious puns that monkey with the description of reported speech for comic effect. For example:

“I manufacture table tops,” said Tom counterproductively.
“Who discovered radium?” asked Marie curiously.
“Just parsley, sage and rosemary,” said Tom timelessly. (…)

(The credit for this linguistic frippery is usually given to the prolific writer and publisher Edward L. Stratemeyer, who was responsible for the Tom Swift series of adventure novels.)


In the midst of all the laughing, we tried to come up with some of our own incorporating a uniquely indian flavour.  Yes , you are more more likely to get them if you’re Indian or at least an indophile. One of the joys of being bilingual (multilingual!) is that it gives you a wider palette of words to play with. Read on…and join in the fun!

“Never marry an Indian guy…you’ll regret it!” she said decimatedly

“Indians are one billion misguided missiles,” Tom said ballistically

“Michael tum cykill pe aana,” Tom said agitatedly

“Oh will I never see the Taj Mahal?….”  she thought, aggravated.

“Aur, Kuch kuch hota hai?” Shahrukh cajoled

“How do you like your fruit?” –“Pureed” said Amrish

“The brother with the mother will win the war,” said Shashi to Amitabh

“Ban Nabokov simply I say!” screeched Jayalalitha


We’d love to read what you come up with! Please leave your gems in the comments section….

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