to say tightly

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  • piggypiggot

    Senior Member
    "But...hey... don't go overspending, will you?"
    "I won't" she said tightly.

    The family is poor and the husband is advising his wife not to spend too much. She is outraged, because he didn't need to do that: she knows very well that she can't spend

    Keith Bradford

    Senior Member
    English (Midlands UK)
    This is called a Tom Swifty. It's a form of wordplay, where a line of dialogue is given, including an adverb. But the adverb must correspond to the meaning of the dialogue. So:

    "Pass me the shellfish," said Tom crabbily.
    "Happy Birthday," Tom said presently.
    "How many lambs are on your farm?" Tom asked sheepishly.

    So what's that got to do with your example? "I won't overspend" she said tightly. To be tight means to be tight-fisted, not to spend money willingly.
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