The /k/ sound is spelled with <c> or <k> initially, and usually <ck> medially or finally though we also see <c> in sac and <cc> in baccy (short for tobacco, now mainly remembered from Rudyard Kipling's line "Brandy for the parson and baccy for the clerk"). Another exception is <ch> in anchor and in the RP-modified pronunciation of loch. (Many RP speakers will use a velar fricative in this word.) The /g/ sound is usually spelled with <g>, <gg> or <gh> in ghost, in the loan word ghee and the place name Ghent.
As usual, I have included inflected forms such as sacks/sags and sacked/sagged even though they are not strictly minimal. See the main page for an explanation.
The two sounds are both velar stops, and the contrast is simply a matter of voicing. It is a known difficulty for Dutch and German learners, and may cause problems elesewhere, especially in syllable-final position.
Taboo word pairs include coon/goon, fuck/fug, knickers/niggers and shack/shag.
Interesting pairs include:
The mean density value is 3.4%. The list makes 221 semantic distinctions, a loading of 53%.
akin agin anchor anger anchored angered anchoring angering anchors angers ankle angle ankles angles baccy baggy back bag backing bagging backs bags backed bagged banker Bangor beck beg burke berg bicker bigger brick brig broke brogue buck bug bucking bugging bucks bugs bucked bugged Buckie buggy cab gab cable gable cabled gabled cables gables cache gash cached gashed caching gashing cad gad cads gads Cain gain caff gaff caffs gaffs cage gage caged gaged cages gages caging gaging calk gawk calks gawks call gall called galled calling galling calls galls call Gaul calls Gauls calorie gallery calories galleries calyx Gaelics came game camp gamp camps gamps candour gander cane gain caned gained canes gains caning gaining cap gap caps gaps cape gape capes gapes carat garret carats garrets card guard carded guarded carding guarding cards guards carry gharry carries gharries carrot garret carrots garrets carter garter carters garters cash gash cashing gashing cat gat cater gaiter caters gaiters caught ghat cause gauze cave gave cawed gaud cawed gored chord gaud chords gauds chord gored chuck chug chucking chugging chucks chugs chucked chugged clad glad clamour glamour clamorous glamorous Clare glare class glass classed glassed classes glasses classing glassing classy glassy classier glassier classiest glassiest clean glean cleaned gleaned cleaner gleaner cleaners gleaners cleanse glens clew glue clewed glued clewing gluing clews glues clock clog clocking clogging clocks clogs close glows clue glue clued glued clueing gluing clues glues Co go coal goal coals goals coaled gold coarse gorse coast ghost coasted ghosted coasting ghosting coasts ghosts coat goat coats goats coatee goatee coatees goatees cob gob cobs gobs cobble gobble cobbled gobbled cobbles gobbles cobbling gobbling cobbler gobbler cobblers gobblers cock cog cocks cogs cod god cods gods code goad coded goaded codes goads coding goading cold gold collie golly come gum comes gums coming gumming con gone conger conker congers conkers coo goo cool ghoul cools ghouls cool Goole coon goon coons goons cord gaud cords gauds cord gored cordon Gordon core gore coring goring cores gores cored cored cored gaud corgi Gorky cork gawk corks gawks Corp gawp corpse gawps cosh gosh cot got could good course gorse court ghat courts ghats coven govern covens governs crÍpe grape crÍpes grapes crab grab crabbed grabbed crabbing grabbing crabs grabs crack crag cracks crags craft graft crafts grafts cram gram crams grams crammer grammar crammers grammars crane grain craned grained cranes grains cranny grannie crannies grannies crate grate crated grated crates grates crating grating crate great crates greats crater grater craters graters crater greater crave grave craves graves craze grays craze graze crazed grazed crazes grazes crazed grazed crazier grazier creak Greek creaks Greeks crease grease creased greased creases greases creasing greasing crease Greece creed greed creep grippe creeps grippes crew grew Crewe grew Crieff grief crime grime crimed grimed crimes grimes criming griming cripes gripes crone groan crones groans crouch grouch crouched grouched crouches grouches crouching grouching croup group croups groups crow grow crowing growing crows grows crowned ground crumble grumble crumbled grumbled crumbles grumbles crumbling grumbling crypt gripped cull gull culled gulled culling gulling culls gulls cunning gunning curd gird curds girds curdling girdling curl girl curls girls curt girt cut gut cuts guts cutting gutting cutlass gutless cutter gutter cutters gutters Dakar dagger decree degree decrees degrees delegacy delicacy delegacies delicacies delegate delicate Dick dig dicker digger dickers diggers dinky dinghy discussed disgust dock dog docking dogging docks dogs docked dogged duck Doug duck dug echo ego echoes egos encage engage encages engages encaging engaging encaged engaged flak flag flock flog flocking flogging flocks flogs flocked flogged frock frog frocks frogs fuck fug fucks fugs hack hag hacks hags hackle haggle hackles haggles hock hog hocking hogging hocks hogs hocked hogged hunger hunker hungers hunkers irk erg jack jag jacking jagging jacks jags Jackie jaggy K gay K's gays K's gaze kaffir gaffer kaffirs gaffers kail Gael kail gale Kate gait Kate gate Kay gay key ghee Kent Ghent kiddy giddy kilt gilt kilts gilts knack nag knacks nags knacker nagger knackers naggers knickers niggers Kremlin gremlin Kremlins gremlins lack lag lacking lagging lacks lags lacked lagged lacquered laggard lax lags league leak leagues leaks league leek leagues leeks loch log lochs logs lock log locking logging locked logged locks logs luck lug mac mag macs mags meeker meagre muck mug mucking mugging mucks mugs mucked mugged mucky muggy muckier muggier muckiest muggiest nickel niggle nickelled niggled nickels niggles ochre ogre peck peg pecking pegging pecks pegs pecked pegged pick pig picking pigging picks pigs pluck plug plucking plugging plucks plugs prick prig pricks prigs puck pug pucks pugs rack rag racking ragging racks rags rankle wrangle rankled wrangled rankles wrangles rankling wrangling rick rig ricking rigging ricks rigs ricked rigged ruck rug rucks rugs sac sag sacs sags sack sag sacking sagging sacks sags sacked sagged shack shag shacking shagging shacks shags shacked shagged slack slag slacks slags smock smog snack snag snacks snags snacking snagging snacked snagged snicker snigger snickered sniggered snickering sniggering snickers sniggers stack stag stacks stags tack tag tacking tagging tacks tags tacked tagged Tech teg tingle tinkle tingled tinkled tingles tinkles tingling tinkling tuck tug tucking tugging tucks tugs tucked tugged vicar vigour whack wag whacking wagging whacks wags whacked wagged wick Whig wicks Whigs wick wig wicks wigs
John Higgins, Shaftesbury, April 2012.