Diphthong /əʊ/ versus null, 147 pairs     [angola.html]

The /əʊ/ sound is spelled with <o>, <oa>, <eau> or <ow>.

As /əʊ/ is often stressed, there are several cases where removing it makes for a shift of stress, as in flowing/fling. However the majority of pairs arise from words ending in an unstressed /əʊ/, such as beano/bean.

The density is 2.3%. The list makes 103 semantic contrasts, a loading of 71%.

Angola angler
bandeau band
beano bean
  beanos beans
beano been
bellow bell
  bellows bells
  bellowed belled
  bellowing belling
billow bill
  billows bills
  billowing billing
  billowed billed
bingo Bing
blotto blot
blowing bling
Bordeaux board
Bordeaux bored    
bowling bling
bungalow bungle
  bungalows bungles
canto cant
chateau shat
cheerio cheery
coerce curse
  coerces curses
  coercing cursing
  coerced cursed
coercive cursive
co-op cop
  co-ops cops
co-opt Copt
  co-opts Copts
co-opt copped  
coyote quoit
  coyotes quoits	
Creole creel
  Creoles creels
curio Curie
dekko deck
disco disc
  discos discs
doggo dog
ego egg
  egos eggs
elbow Elbe
ergo erg
fellow fell
  fellows fells
flowing fling
foaling fling
furlough furl
gallows gals
ghetto get
grotto grot
gusto gust
halo hail
  haloes hails
halo hale          
hero hear
  heroes hears
hero here
hippo hip
  hippos hips
hollows hols
homo home
  homos homes
hypo hype
judo Jude
kilo keel
  kilos keels
largos Largs
lento lent
lido lead
lino line
lowest list
Mayo may
medico medic
mellowed meld        
Monaco monarch
Noel knell
Noel Nell
nympho nymph
  nymphos nymphs
oafish fish
oboe bow
  oboes bows
okay K
okay Kay
oleander Leander
omened mend
ouzo ooze
ovoid void
owing wing
ozone zone
panto pant
peso pace
Pharaoh fair
Pharaoh fare
pillow pill
  pillows pills
  pillowing pilling
  pillowed pilled
playgoer plaguer
  playgoers plaguers
  playgoing plaguing
poet pit
  poets pits
polo pole
presto pressed
pseudo sued
quarto quart
  quartos quarts
quartos quartz
recto wrecked
salvo slave
  salvoes salves
saut� stay
  saut�s stays
servo serve
sewing swing
soling sling
solo sole
solo Seoul
solo soul
sowing swing
stucco stuck
tempo temp
tiptoe tipped
towrope trope
  tworopes tropes
trio tree
  trios trees
trousseau truce
verso verse
willow will
  willows wills
  willowy Willie
window wind
  windows winds
winnow win
  winnows wins
  winnowing winning
yellow yell
  yellows yells
  yellowing yelling
  yellowed yelled

John Higgins, Shaftesbury, December 2010,
updated Chiang Mai, May 2024