Vowels 3 and 6, /e/ versus /ɒ/    249 pairs      [bendbond.html]

The /e/ vowel is spelled <e>, <ea> in deaf or <ie> in friend, and occurs in the letter names F, N and X. The vowel /ɒ/ is spelled <o>, or <a> after <w > in swat or wand.

The two sounds are both short but are well separated in the mouth, so are unlikely to be a problem.

This distinction signals the tense change in the strong verbs get/got, forget/forgot and tread/trod.

Interesting pairs include:

chemical comical
Delhi Dolly
embedded embodied
excise oxeyes
ferried forehead
hysterical historical
meddle model
merrily morally
premises promises
preposition proposition

The mean density is 2.7%. The pairs make 149 semantic contrasts, giving a loading of 60%.

becks box
bedded bodied
beg bog
  begged bogged
  begging bogging
  begs bogs
beget begot
Ben Bonn
bend bond
  bended bonded
  bending bonding
  bends bonds
Benny bonny
Bessie bossy
best bossed
blend blonde
  blends blondes
breath broth	
  breath broths
Brens bronze
cell Sol 		   
check chock
  checked chocked
  checking chocking
  checks chocks	   
check choc
  checks chocs  
cheque chock
  cheques chocks  	 
cheque choc
  cheques chocs  
Czech chock
  Czechs chocks
Czech choc
  Czechs chocs
chemical comical
  chemically comically
coquette cocotte 
  coquettes cocottes 
crept cropped
cress cross
crest crossed
deaf doff
debt dot
  debts dots
Dec dock
deck dock
  decked docked
  decking docking
  decks docks
decker docker
  deckers dockers
deft doffed
Delhi Dolly
dell doll
  dells dolls	 
den don
  dens dons
Derek Doric
derrick Doric
dress dross
ebb ob
Ed odd
eft oft
effed oft
  effing offing
Ellie Ollie
Elloughton Ollerton
embedded embodied
excise oxeyes
F off
Feb fob
fellow follow
  fellows follows
fend fond
fender fonder
ferried forehead
fester foster
  festered fostered
  festering fostering
  festers fosters
fleck flock
  flecked flocked
  flecking flocking
  flecks flocks
forget forgot
friend frond
  friends fronds
gen John 
get got
Greg grog
head hod
  heads hods
heck hock
  hecks hocks
hen Hon 
hep hop
hysterical historical 
  hysterically historically 
jelly jolly
  jellied jollied
  jellies jollies
  jellying jollying
Jenny Johnny
jet jot
  jets jots
  jetted jotted
  jetting jotting
keg cog 
  kegs cogs 
ken con
  kenned conned 
  kenning conning 
  kens cons 
Kenny Connie 
Kent cont
kept Copt 
Kerry corrie
leads Lodz 
leapt lopped
ledge lodge
  ledges lodges
ledger lodger
  ledgers lodgers
left loft
leg log
  legging logging
  legs logs
less loss
lest lost
let lot
let's lots
Mecca mocha 
Med Mod
medal model
  medals models
meddle model
  meddled modelled
  meddler modeler
  meddlers modelers
  meddles models
merrily morally
mess moss
  messes mosses
  messy mossy
  messier mossier
  messiest mossiest
metal mottle
  metalled mottled
  metalling mottling
  metals mottles
meths moths
N on
neck knock 
  necked knocked 
  necking knocking 
  necks knocks 
Ned nod
net not
net knot 
  nets knots 
  netted knotted 
  netting knotting 
Neville novel
peck pock
  pecked pocked
  pecks pocks
pence ponce
penned pond
pep pop
  pepped popped
  pepping popping
  peps pops
pepper poppa
  peppers poppas
pet pot
  pets pots
  petted potted
  petting potting
petty potty
  pettier pottier
  pettiest pottiest
pled plod
premise promise
  premised promised
  premises promises
  premising promising
prep prop
  preps props
preposition proposition
  prepositions propositions
read Rod 
recce rocky
red rod
  reds rods
Rennes Ron
resin rosin
  resins rosins
Rex rocks
sec Soc 
senate sonnet
  senates sonnets
set sot
  sets sots
shed shod
sketch scotch
  sketched scotched 
  sketches scotches 
  sketching scotching 
slept slopped
step stop
  stepped stopped
  stepping stopping
  steps stops
steppes stops
sweat swat 
  sweated swatted 
  sweating swatting 
  sweats swats 
swept swapped 
teddy toddy
  teddies toddies
teg tog
  tegs togs
test tossed
tread trod
vex vox
wed wad 
  wedded wadded 
  wedding wadding 
  weds wads
weft waft 
  wefts wafts 
wen wan 
wend wand 
  wends wands 
went want
wept whopped
wet watt
  wets watts
wreck rock 
  wrecked rocked 
  wrecker rocker 
  wreckers rockers 
  wrecking rocking 
X ox
yen yon
yet yacht

John Higgins, Shaftesbury, January 2011
updated Chiang Mai, 2024