Consonants /d/ versus /n/, 542 pairs     [downnoun.html]

The /d/ sound is spelled with <d>, <dd> or <de>, and the /n/ sound is <n> or <nn>. Notice how the homograph do makes pairs with with know and gnu.

The contrast is between a voiced stop and a nasal continuant. Though they are close together in the mouth, it is not a problem for learners.

The only taboo word pair is digger/nigger.

Interesting pairs include:

arcade arcane
augured organ
ciphered siphon
dative native
dominate nominate
doorway Norway
florid florin
midst minced
murmured merman
oddest honest
widow winnow

The mean density value is 2.3%. The list makes 359 semantic distinctions, a loading of 66%.

adder anna
  adders annas
addles annals
adieu anew
adored adorn
allied align 
altered Alton 
ad Ann 
add Ann
arcade arcane
arrayed arraign 
aside assign
  asides assigns
augured organ
baa'd barn
bad ban	
bade ban
bared bairn 
bayed bane 
bard barn  
  bards barns
barred barn
battered baton 
bawd Bourne 
bawd born
bawd borne
bead bean
  beads beans
bead been
bed ben
  beds bens
begad began
bestrewed bestrewn
bird Bern 
bird burn
  birds burns
bid bin
  bids bins
bide bine
  bides bines
blackbird Blackburn 
blowed blown
board Bourne 
board born
board borne
bode bone
  bodes bones
  boding boning
body bonny
booed boon
brad bran
braid brain
  braiding braining
  braids brains
broad brawn 
bread Bren 
bride brine
  brides brines	 
brokered broken  
bud bun
  buds buns
buddy bunny
  buddies bunnies
cad can
  cads cans
cad Cannes  
caddie canny
capered capon
carbide carbine
  carbides carbines
card Calne 
card khan
  cards khans
cared cairn 
careered Korean 
cawed corn
cede scene
  cedes scenes
cede seen
chid chin
chide chine
  chides chines
chord corn
  chords corns
ciphered siphon
clad clan	
cloud clown
  clouding clowning
  clouds clowns
cod con
  codding conning
  cods cons
code cone
  codes cones
  coding coning
confide confine
  confides confines
  confiding confining
cooed coon
cord corn
  cords corns
  cording corning
crewed croon
crowed crone 
crowd crown
  crowding crowning
  crowds crowns
crude croon
cruder crooner
curled Koln 
D knee
  D's knees
dab nab
  dabbed nabbed
  dabbing nabbing
  dabs nabs
daddy nanny
  daddies nannies
dagger nagger
  daggers naggers
Dakar knacker
dale nail
  dales nails
dame name
  dames names
Dan dad
Dan Nan
Danny daddy
dare ne'er
dark nark
dash gnash
  dashed gnashed
  dashes gnashes
  dashing gnashing
dative native
  datives natives
Dave knave	   
Dave nave
Davey navy
daw gnaw
  daws gnaws
day nay
day née	  
day neigh
  days neighs
dead den
dead Ned
deal Neil
deal kneel
  dealing kneeling
  deals kneels
  dealt knelt
deed dean 
  deeds deans 
dear near
  dearer nearer
  dearest nearest
  dearly nearly
  dearness nearness
  dears nears
debt net
  debts nets
deck neck
  decked necked
  decking necking
  decks necks
defied define
Delhi Nelly
dell Nell 
derv nerve
devil Neville 
dew knew
dew new
dhow now
Di nigh
dibble nibble
  dibbled nibbled
  dibbles nibbles
  dibbling nibbling
dice nice
Dick Nick
dickers knickers
did din
die nigh
died dine
digger nigger
  diggers niggers
dill nil
dine nine
  dines nines
dip nip
  dipped nipped
  dipping nipping
  dips nips
dipper nipper
  dippers nippers
dire nigher
ditches niches
dives knives
divide divine
  dividers diviners
  divides divines
  dividing divining
do gnu
  do's gnus
do know
  dos knows
do no
dos nose
doe know
  does knows
doe no
does nose  
dock knock
  docked knocked
  docking knocking
  docks knocks
docker knocker
  dockers knockers
dole knoll
  doles knolls
dome gnome
  domes gnomes
dominate nominate
  dominated nominated
  dominates nominates
  dominating nominating
  domination nomination
doodle noodle
  doodles noodles
door gnaw
  doors gnaws
door nor
doorway Norway 
dope nope
Dora Nora
dot knot
  dots knots
  dotted knotted
  dotting knotting
dot not  
dote note
  doted noted
  dotes notes
  doting noting
dotty knotty
  dottier knottier
  dottiest knottiest
doubt knout
  doubts knouts
dough know
dough no
douse nous
dowdy downy
down noun
  downs nouns
doze knows
doze nose
  dozed nosed
  dozes noses
  dozing nosing
dual newel
dub nub
  dubs nubs
duckling knuckling
dud done 
dud dun
  duds duns
dude dune
  dudes dunes
dude nude
  dudes nudes
due knew
due new
  dues news
duel newel
  duels newels
dull null
duly newly
dumb numb
  dumbly numbly
  dumbness numbness
durst nursed
erred earn 
erred urn
Ed N
Eddie any
enjoin enjoyed
fad fan
  fads fans
faddy Fanny 
fade fain
fade feign
  fades feigns
  fading feigning
ford faun  
  fords fauns
ford fawn
  fords fawns
  fording fawning
Fed fen
florid florin
flowed flown
foreigner forrader
fuddle funnel
  fuddled funnelled
  fuddles funnels
giddy Guinea 
God gone
grade grain
  grades grains
greed green
grid grin
  grids grins
hawed horn
head hen 
  heads hens
heard Herne 
hewed hewn
hoard horn
  hoarding horning
  hoards horns
hoed hone
horde horn
  hordes horns
humoured human 
id in
interred intern 
jade Jane 
joyed join 
keyed keen 
kid kin
killed kiln
lade lain
lard Larne
larding larning
laud lawn
  lauds lawns
lead lean
  leads leans
  leading leaning
lead Len
leader leaner
  leaders leaners
Leeds leans
leered lien
lied line
Lloyd's loins
load loan
  loading loaning
  loads loans	
load lone  
lode loan
  lodes loans
lode lone  
lord lawn
  lords lawns
mad man
madder manner
made main
made mane
madly manly
maid main
  maids mains
maid mane  
  maids manes
Maud morn
mead mean
  meads means
Med men
medial menial
  medially menially
midst minced
mode moan 
  modes moans 
mood moon
  moods moons
moody moony
  moodier moonier
  moodiest mooniest
mountain mounted
muddy money 
mudded moneyed 
muddies monies 
murdered murmured
murmured merman 
node known 
odd on
odder honour 
oddest honest 
ode own
  odes owns
odour owner
  odours owners
odourless ownerless
overflowed overflown
oversewed oversewn
owed own
pad pan
  padding panning
  pads pans
paddle panel
  paddled panelled
  paddles panels
  paddling panelling
paid pain
pawed pawn
pied pine
plaid plan
  plaids plans
played plain 
played plane
pollard pollen
prude prune
  prudes prunes
quid quin
  quids quins
raid rain
  raiding raining
  raids rains
red wren
  reds wrens
redound renowned
Rennes read
reside resign
  resides resigns
  residing resigning
reddish Rhenish 
ride Rhine
road roan
  roads roans
Rod Ron
rode roan
rood rune
  roods runes
rope-yard rope-yarn
rowed roan
rudder runner
  rudders runners
ruddle runnel
  ruddles runnels
ruddy runny
  ruddier runnier
  ruddiest runniest
sadist sanest
sawed sawn
scored scorn
screed screen
  screeds screens
seaboard seaborne
seed scene
  seeds scenes
seed seen  
seedier senior
sewed sewn
she'd sheen
shewed shewn
shied shine
shod shone
shored shorn
side sign
  sides signs
  siding signing
silvered silvan 
sired scion 
skid skin
skidding skinning
skids skins
sleighed slain 
solidity salinity 
suds sons 
sowed sown
spade Spain 
spied spine
sprayed sprain 
spud spun
spurred spurn 
staid stain
stead Sten 
stirred stern 
stowed stone 
strayed strain 
strewed strewn
stud stun
  studding stunning
  studs stuns
suede swain
summered summon
swain swayed
sward sworn
swayed swain
tarred tarn 
Ted ten
  Teds tens
tendered tendon
Thorne thawed
tide tine
  tides tines
tide Tyne
tied tine
tidy tiny
  tidier tinier
  tidiest tiniest
toad tone
  toads tones
toady Tony
trade train
  trades trains
  trading training
trader trainer
  traders trainers
trued Troon 
tweed 'tween 
tutored Teuton 
vied vine
wad wan
ward warn
  warding warning
  wards warns
wade wane 
  wades wanes
  wading waning
wed wen	 
  weds wens	 
wed when
weed wean
  weeds weans
  weeding weaning 
weedy weeny
  weedier weenier
  weediest weeniest
weighed wane
wide whine 
wide wine
wider whiner 
widow winnow
  widowed winnowed
  widows winnows
yard yarn
  yards yarns
yawed yawn
Z Zen

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