Consonants /b/ versus /r/, 387 pairs     [batrat.html]

The spelling of /b/ is always <b> or <bb>. The /r/ sound is <r>, <rr> or <wr>, as well as <rh> in rheum. The homographs bow and row make pairs with each other as well as with other words. Notice how the partial homograph reading/Reading makes pairs with beading and bedding.

The contrast is between a plosive and a continuant, both voiced but widely separated in the mouth. Confusions are not likely.

The pair bugger/rugger surfaces sometimes as an insulting term for rugby players: "rugger buggers". Two other mildly taboo word pairs are bollocks/rowlocks and bum/rum.

Interesting pairs include:

beckon reckon
bevel revel
bowman Roman
stability sterility

The mean density value is 2.4%. The list makes 186 semantic distinctions, a loading of 48%.

Abo arrow
  Abos arrows
abound around
B re
baa rah
babble rabble
  babbles rabbles
back rack
  backed racked
  backing racking
  backs racks
baffle raffle
  baffled raffled
  baffles raffles
  baffling raffling
bag rag
  bagged ragged
  bagging ragging
  bags rags
bail rail
  bailed railed
  bailing railing
  bails rails
bait rate
  baited rated
  baiting rating
  baits rates
bake rake
  baked raked
  bakes rakes
  baking raking
bale rail
  baled railed
  baling railing
  bales rails
bally rally
band rand
  bands rands
bandy randy
  bandier randier
  bandiest randiest
bane rain  
bane reign
bane rein
bangle wrangle
  bangles wrangles
bank rank
  banked ranked
  banking ranking
  banks ranks
banker rancour
banker ranker
  bankers rankers
banned rand
bant rant
  banted ranted
  banting ranting
  bants rants
banter ranter
  banters ranters
bar rah
bare rare
  barely rarely
  bareness rareness
  barer rarer
  barest rarest
baring raring
base race
  based raced
  basing racing
  bases races
baser racer
basest racist
bash rash
  bashes rashes
Basil razzle
bass race
  basses races
bat rat
  batted ratted
  batting ratting
  bats rats
batch ratch
  batches ratches
bate rate
  bated rated
  bating rating
  bates rates
batter ratter
  batters ratters
battle rattle
  battled rattled
  battles rattles
  battling rattling
batty ratty
bawd roared
bay ray
  bays rays
bays raise  
bayed raid
be re	 
bead read
  beading reading
  beads reads
bead reed
  beads reeds
beady reedy
beak reek
  beaks reeks
beam ream
  beams reams
beams Rheims
bear rare
beard reared
beater Rita
beau roe
  beaux roes
beaux rose
beck wreck
beckon reckon
  beckoned reckoned
  beckoning reckoning
  beckons reckons
beck wreck 
  becks wrecks
becks Rex
bed read
bed red
  beds reds
bedding Reading
bee re	
beef reef
  beeves reeves
beep reap
  beeps reaps
beer rear
  beers rears
belated related
belay relay
  belayed relayed
  belaying relaying
  belays relays
belie rely
  belied relied
  belies relies
  belying relying
belief relief
  beliefs reliefs
believe relieve
  believed relieved
  believes relieves
  believing relieving
ben wren
  bens wrens
bench wrench
  benches wrenches
bend rend
  bending rending
  bends rends
bent rent
  bents rents
bequest request
  bequests requests
best rest
  bested rested
  besting resting
  bests rests
beta Rita
bevel revel
  bevelled revelled
  bevelling revelling	  
  bevels revels
bey ray
  beys rays
beys raise
bib rib
  bibbed ribbed
  bibbing ribbing
  bibs ribs
bid rid
  bids rids
  bidden ridden
  biding ridding
bide ride
  bides rides
  biding riding
bier rear
  biers rears
big rig
bigger rigger
bight right
  bights rights
bight rite
  bights rites
bight write
  bights writes    
bike Reich
  bikes Reichs
bile rile
bill rill
  bills rills
bind rind
  binds rinds
bine Rhine
bite right
  biting righting
  bites rights
bite rite
  bites rites  
bite write
  bitten written
  biting writing
  bites writes
boar roar
  boars roars
board roared
boast roast
  boasted roasted
  boasting roasting
  boasts roasts
boaster roaster
  boasters roasters
boat rote
boat wrote
boater rota
  boaters rotas
boater rotor
  boaters rotors
bob rob
  bobbed robbed
  bobbing robbing
  bobs robs
bobbin robin
  bobbins robins
bode road
  bodes roads
Boer rower
  Boers rowers
bold rolled
bole r�le
  boles r�les
bole roll
  boles rolls  
bollock rowlock
  bollocks rowlocks
bomb rhomb
  bombs rhombs
bone roan
  bones roans
Bonn Ron
bonny Ronnie
boo rue
  boos rues
  booing ruing
  booed rued
boos ruse  
booed rude
booby ruby
  boobies rubies
book rook
  booked rooked
  booking rooking
  books rooks
bookie rookie
  bookies rookies
boom rheum
boom room
  boomed roomed
  booming rooming
  booms rooms
boon rune
  boons runes
boost roost
  boosted roosted
  boosting roosting
  boosts roosts
booster rooster
  boosters roosters
boot root
  booted rooted
  booting rooting
  boots roots
boot route
  boots routes
  booting routing
  booted routed
Bootle rootle
booze ruse
bore raw
bore roar
  boring roaring
  bored roared
  bores roars
bough row
  boughs rows
boughs rouse
bought wrought
bound round
  bounded rounded
  bounding rounding
  bounds rounds
bounder rounder
  bounders rounders
bout rout
  bouts routs
bow roe
  bows roes
bow row
  bowed rowed
  bowing rowing
  bows rows
bowed road
bows rose  	
bows rouse
bowel rowel
  bowels rowels
bowl r�le
  bowls r�les
bowl roll
  bowls rolls
  bowling rolling
  bowled rolled  
bowler roller
  bowlers rollers
bowman Roman
box rocks
boy Roy
bubble rubble
buck ruck
  bucked rucked
  bucking rucking
  bucks rucks
buddy ruddy
buff rough
  buffed roughed
  buffing roughing
  buffs roughs
buffer rougher
bug rug
  bugs rugs
bugger rugger
bum rum
bump rump
  bumps rumps
bunny runny
bust rust
  busted rusted
  busting rusting
  busts rusts
bustle rustle
  bustled rustled
  bustles rustles
  bustling rustling
busty rusty
but rut
butt rut
  butted rutted
  butting rutting
  butts ruts
buy rye	 
buy wry
buyer wrier
buys rise
by rye
by wry
bye rye
bye wry
cabbage carriage
  cabbages carriages
cabby carry
  cabbies carries
disobey disarray
  disobeyed disarrayed
  disobeying disarraying
  disobeys disarrays
hubby hurry
  hubbies hurries
lobby lorry
  lobbies lorries
obey array
  obeyed arrayed
  obeying arraying
  obeys arrays
rose-bed rose-red
stability sterility
tabby tarry
  tabbies tarries

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