Consonants /d/ versus /k/, 590 pairs     [codecoke.html]

The spelling of /d/ in this list is <d> or <dd>. The /k/ sound has many spellings including <c>, <ck>, <cc> <ch> or <que>. Inflected forms with -s have been included even where not strictly minimal. See the discussion under "Problems" on the main page. The assimilation of /n/ plus /k/ to /ŋk/ leads to several pairs involving one past tense form such as banged/bank. Notice how the homograph read makes pairs with reek and wreck.

The contrast is between a voiced and a voiceless plosive, well separated in the mouth. It may sometimes cause problems in syllable-final position, especially for Dutch and German learners who do not have a final /d/.

Taboo word pairs incude bollards/ballocks, cod/cock, dock/cock, peed/peak and whanged/wank.

One of these pairs figures memorably in Ogden Nash's verse Reflections on Ice-breaking: "Candy is dandy, but liquor is quicker." Other interesting pairs include:

adieux accuse
buttered buttock
cedar seeker
debarred debark
dozen cousin
dullard coloured
odour ochre
piddle pickle
suffered Suffolk
wheedling weakling
yodel yokel

The mean density value is 3%. The list makes 349 semantic distinctions, a loading of 59%.

Adelaide accolade
adieux accuse 
adored accord 
aid ache 
  aiding aching  
  aids aches
allied alike 
awed auk 
baa'd bark	
baa'd barque
bad back   
bade back
Baldock ballcock
bank banged 
bard bark 	
  bards barks
bard barque	
  bards barques
bawd balk 
  bawd balks
bayed bake 
bead beak
  beads beaks
bed beck 
  beds becks
belied belike
bidder bicker 
  bidders bickers 
bide bike
  biding biking
  bides bikes
billed bilk 
bird burke
  birds burkes
bladder blacker 
bleed bleak 
blowed bloke 
board balk
  boarding balking 
  boards balks
bollard ballock 
  bollards ballocks
braid brake
  braiding braking
  braids brakes
braid braeak
  braiding breaking
  braids breaks
brayed brake
brayed break
bud buck 
  budding bucking 
  buds bucks
buddy Buckie 
build bilk
  building bilking
  builds bilks
bunged bunk
buttered buttock
cawed cork 
cedar seeker
  cedars seekers  
cede seek
  ceding seeking
  cedes seeks
cede Sikh 
  cedes Sikhs
chawed chalk 
Cheddar checker
chid chick 	   
chord cork
  chords corks
clad clack 
clanged clank
clod clock 
cod cock 
  codding cocking 
  cods cocks
coddle cockle 
coddles cockles 
code coke
  coding coking
  codes cokes
cord cork
  cords corks
cordage corkage
cording calking 
could cook 
crêpe drape 
creed creak    
  creeds creaks
crowed croak 
curd kirk
  curds kirks
D key
  D's keys
dab cab 
  dabs cabs 
dace case 
dacha catcher
  dachas catchers 
dad cad 
  dads cads 
daddy caddie 
  daddies caddies 
dale kail
Dallas callous
dam cam   
  dams cams
dame came 
damn cam
  damns cams 
damp camp 
  damped camped 
  damping camping 
  damps camps 
damper camper 
  dampers campers 
Dan Cannes 
dandle candle 
  dandles candles 
dandy candy 
  dandies candies 
Dane cane
  Danes canes
Danny canny
dare care 
  dared cared 
  dares cares 
  daring caring 
Darkey khaki
darn Calne 
darn khan
  darns khans
dart cart 
  darted carted 
  darting carting 
  darts carts 
dash cache 
  dashed cached 
  dashes caches 
  dashing caching 
dash cash
  dashed cashed
  dashes cashes
  dashing cashing  
date Kate 
Dave cave
daw caw 
  daws caws
daw cor
daw core
  daws cores
daws cause 
dawn corn
  dawned corned 
  dawning corning 
  dawns corns 
day K 
  days K's 
dead deck 
deal keel
  dealing keeling
  deals keels
dealt Celt 
debarred debark 
decode decoke
  decoding decoking
  decodes decokes
deign cane
  deigned caned 
  deigning caning 
  deigns canes
den ken 
  dens kens
Denny Kenny
dent Kent 
depredation deprecation 
  depredations deprecations 
derby Kirkby 
derv curve 
dew Q 
dhow cow 
  dhows cows
dhows Cowes 
died dike
dine kine
dined kind
dinky kinky
  dinkier kinkier
  dinkiest kinkiest
dip kip
  dipped kipped
  dips kips
  dipping kipping
dirk kirk
  dirks kirks
ditties kitties
ditty Kitty 
do Co 
do coo 
  doing cooing 
  do's coos 
dock cock 
  docked cocked 
  docking codding 
  docks cocks 
docker cocker 
  dockers cockers 
dodder docker 
  dodders dockers 
dodger codger 
  dodgers codgers 
doff cough 
  doffed coughed 
  doffing coughing 
  doffs coughs 
dog cog 
  dogs cogs 
doily coyly 
dole coal 
  doled coaled 
  doles coals 
  doling coaling 
doll col 
  dolls cols 
dollar choler 
  dollars cholers 
dolly collie
  dollies collies 
dolt colt 
  dolts colts 
doltish coltish 
dome comb 
  domed combed 
  domes combs 
domination commination 
don con
  donned conned 
  donning conning 
  dons cons 
door caw
  doors caws
door cor
door core 
  doors cores
doors cause
dope cope 
  doped coped 
  dopes copes 
  doping coping 
Dorking calking
Dorking corking
Dorset corset
dosed coast 
dossed cost 
dot cot 
  dots cots 
dote coat 
  doted coated 
  dotes coats 
  doting coating 
dower cower 
  dowered cowered
  dowering cowering 
  dowers cowers 
dowered coward 
dowse cows
dowse Cowes
dozen cousin 
  dozens cousins 
dozey cosy
dozes cosies 
drab crab 
drachm cram 
  drachms crams 
dram cram
  drams crams
draft craft 
  drafts crafts 
draftsman craftsman 
drag crag 
  drags crags 
drain crane 
  drained craned 
  draining craning 
  drains cranes 
drake crake 
  drakes crakes 
drank crank 
draughty crafty 
  draughtier craftier 
  draughtiest craftiest 
drawer crore 
  drawers crores 
drawl crawl 
  drawled crawled 
  drawling crawling 
  drawls crawls 
drays craze 
dream cream 
  dreamed creamed 
  dreaming creaming 
  dreams creams 
dreamy creamy 
  dreamier creamier 
  dreamiest creamiest 
dress cress 
dressed crest 
drew crew
drier crier 
  driers criers 
dripped crypt 
drone crone 
  drones crones 
droop croup 
  droops croups 
drop crop 
  dropped cropped 
  dropping cropping 
  drops crops 
dross cross 
drown crown 
  drowned crowned 
  drowning crowning 
  drowns crowns 
drum crumb 
  drums crumbs 
dry cry 
  dried cried 
  drying crying 
  dries cries
dub cub 
  dubs cubs 
dud duck 
  duds ducks
dude duke
Dudley cuddly  
due Q
  dues Q's 
dull cull 
  dulled culled 
  dulls culls 
  dulling culling 
dullard coloured 
duller colour 
dumb come 
dumber comer 
dumbly comely 
dunning cunning 
durable curable 
  durability curability 
during curing 
durst cursed 
dwell quell
  dwelling quelling
  dwells quells
end enc 
erred irk
fade fake
  fading faking
  fades fakes
fiddle fickle 
flayed flake 
fled fleck 
ford fork
  fording forking
  fords forks
freed freak 
gaud gawk
gaudy gawky
  gaudier gawkier
  gaudiest gawkiest
gaudy Gorky 
girder Gurkha
  girders Gurkhas 
greed Greek 
had hack 
hammered hammock
hanged hank
hard hark
hawed hawk
head heck
hid hick 
hide hike
  hiding hiking
  hides hikes
hoard hawk
  hoarding hawking 
  hoards hawks
hoarder hawker 
  hoarders hawkers 
hod hock 
hood hook
  hooding hooking
  hoods hooks
horde Hawk
  hordes hawks
hulled hulk 
jade Jake 
kid kick 
  kidding kicking 
  kids kicks
lad lack 
ladder lacquer 
  laddered lacquered 
  laddering lacquering 
  ladders lacquers 
laddie lackey 
  laddies lackeys 
lade lake
lard lakh 
lard lark
  larding larking
  lards larks
lead leak 
  leading leaking
  leads leaks
lead leek
  leads leeks  
Leeds leaks
Leeds leeks
lid lick 
  lids licks
lied like
mad mac 
made make 
maid make
  maids makes
marred Mach 
marred mark
mattered mattock
mead meek	
Mede meak
middle mickle 
middy Mickey 
midst mixed
milled milk 
misted mystic
Mod mock
mode moke
  modes mokes
mud muck 
mudding mucking 
muddle muckle 
muddy mucky 
  muddier muckier 
  muddiest muckiest 
Ned neck
nod knock 
  nods knocks
  nodding knocking 
ode oak 
odour ochre 
opted optic
owed oak
pad pack 
  padding packing 
  pads packs
pads pax  
pawed pork
peed peak 
peed peek
peed pique
piddle pickle 
  piddled pickled 
  piddles pickles
  piddling pickling 
pied pike
pinged pink
pod pock 
  pods pocks
pods pox  
purred perk 
quid quick 
raid rake
  raiding raking
  raids rakes
read reek
read wreck
reading reeking
Reading wrecking
ready recce	
  readies recces
red wreck
redder wrecker
remade remake
rid rick 
  rids ricks
  ridding ricking 
ride Reich
ringed rink
rod roc		
  rods rocs
rod rock
  rods rocks
rusted rustic
Ryde Reich 
sad sack 
said sec
sculled skulk
seed seek
  seeds seeks
  seeding seeking
seed Sikh  
  seeds Sikhs
shad shack 
shade shake
  shades shakes
  shading shaking
  shadings shakings
shade sheikh
  shades sheikhs
shady shaky
  shadier shakier
  shadiest shakiest
shard shark
  shards sharks
shod shock 
should shook 
sidle cycle 
  sidled cycled 
  sidles cycles 
  sidling cycling 
sleighed slake 
slid slick 
snood snook
sod sock 
  sodding socking 
  sods socks
sowed soak 
spade spake
spayed spake
sparred spark 
sped spec 
speed speak 
  speeding speaking 
  speeds speaks
spied spike
Spode spoke
staid stake
starred stark 
stored stalk 
stowed stoke 
stride strike
  striding striking
  strides strikes
strode stroke
stud stuck 
suffered Suffolk 
Ted Tech 
teed teak 
tiddler tickler 
  tiddlers ticklers 
tide tike
  tides tikes
tied tike  
toad toque
  toads toques
trad track 
tread trek
  treading trekking
  treads treks
tweed tweak 
wade wake
  wading waking
  wades wakes
ward walk 
  warding walking 
  wards walks
warder walker 
  warders walkers 
weed weak
weed week
weed weak
  weeds weeks
weld whelk
whanged wank 
wheedling weakling 
whirred work
winged wink
woad woke
word work
  words works
  wording working
wordbook workbook
  wordbooks workbooks
yawed York
yodel yokel
  yodels yokels

John Higgins, Shaftesbury, February 2010
updated Chiang Mai, 2024