Consonants /g/ versus /m/, 274 pairs     [goatmoat.html]

The spelling of /g/ is <g> or <gg>, and we also see <gue> in fugue and <gh> in ghost. The /m/ sound is spelled <m>, <mm> or <mb> in bomb.

This is a contrast between a stop and a nasal continuant, both voiced but well separated in the mouth. It does not cause any problems.

One mildly taboo word pair is bug/bum. More obviously taboo is shag/sham.

Interesting pairs include:

elegant element
gimmick mimic
haggard hammered
rugger rummer

The figure for the mean density is 2.7%. The set makes 134 semantic contrasts, a loading of 49%.

bog bomb
  bogged bombed
  bogging bombing
  bogs bombs
brig brim
  brigs brims
bug bum
  bugged bummed
  bugging bumming
  bugs bums
chug chum
  chugged chummed
  chugging chumming
  chugs chums
crag cram
  crags crams
dig dim
  digging dimming
  digs dims
digger dimmer
  diggers dimmers
Doug dumb
drag drachm 
  drags drachms 
drag dram 
  drags drams 
drug drum
  drugged drummed
  drugging drumming
  drugs drums
dug dumb
egg M 
  eggs M's 
elegant element
fogey foamy 
frog from
fugue fume
  fugues fumes
gable Mabel 
gad mad
Gael mail
  Gaels mails
Gael male
  Gaels males
gag mag
  gags mags
gain Maine 
gain main
  gains mains
gait mate
  gaits mates
gale mail
  gales mails
gale male
  gales males
gall mall	 
  galls malls
gall maul
  galled mauled
  galling mauling
  galls mauls
gallows mallows
game maim
  gamed maimed
  games maims
  gaming maiming
gammon mammon
gammy mammy
gamy Mamie 
gangling mangling
gap map
  gaps maps
garble marble
  garbled marbled
  garbles marbles
  garbling marbling
garter martyr
  garters martyrs
Gary marry
gas Mass 
  gases Masses 
gash mash
gassy massy
  gassier massier
  gassiest massiest
gate mate
  gates mates
  gated mated
  gating mating
gat Matt
gaud Maud 
gaudy Maudie 
Gaul mall
  Gauls malls
Gaul maul
  Gauls mauls
gauze maws
gay May 
  gays Mays 
gay may  
gaze maize
gaze maze
  gazed mazed
  gazes mazes
gear mere
  gears meres
get met 
gets Metz 
gharry marry
  gharries marries
ghee me
Ghent meant
ghost most
  ghostly mostly
giddy middy
gild milled
gillie Millie 
gilt milt
gimmick mimic
  gimmicks mimics
girder murder
  girders murders
girth mirth
go Mo 
go mow
  goes mows
  going mowing
goad mode
  goads modes
goad mowed
goal mole
  goals moles
goat moat
  goats moats
gob mob
  gobs mobs
God Mod
  gods Mods 
gold Mold 
gold mould
golly Molly 
goo moo
goon moon
  goons moons
goose moose
gore more
gorse Morse 
Goth moth
  Goths moths
gourd moored
gowned mound
guard marred
Guildford Milford
guile mile
Guinean minion
  Guineans minions
gulch mulch
  gulches mulches
gull mull
  gulled mulled
  gulls mulls
gullet mullet
  gullets mullets
gum mum
  gums mums
gunny money
gush mush
gust mussed
gust must
  gusts musts
gusty musty
  gustier mustier
  gustiest mustiest
gut mutt
gutter mutter
  guttered muttered
  guttering muttering
  gutters mutters
guy my
guzzle muzzle
  guzzled muzzled
  guzzles muzzles
  guzzling muzzling
hag ham
  hags hams
haggard hammered
hug hum
  hugged hummed
  hugging humming
  hugs hums
jag jam
  jagged jammed
  jagging jamming
  jags jambs
jig Jim 
jig gym
  jigs gyms 
lager lama
  lagers lamas
laager lama
  laagers lamas
lag lam
  lagged lambed
  lagging lambing
  lags lambs
legging lemming
  leggings lemmings
mag ma'am 
mug mum
  mugs mums
mugger mummer
  muggers mummers
muggy mummy
plug plum
  plugged plumbed
  plugging plumbing
  plugs plumbs
prig prim
  prigs prims
rag ram
  ragged rammed
  ragging ramming
  rags rams
regain remain
  regained remained
  regaining remaining
  regains remains
regnant remnant
rig rim
  rigged rimmed
  rigging rimming
  rigs rims
rogue Rome 
rogue roam
  rogues roams 
roguish Romish 
rug rum
rugger rummer
sag Sam 
scrag scram
  scragged scrammed
  scragging scramming
  scrags scrams
shag sham
  shagged shammed
  shagging shamming
  shags shams
shaggy shammy
slag slam
slug slum
  slugged slummed
  slugging slumming
  slugs slums
stagger stammer
  staggered stammered
  staggering stammering
  staggers stammers
  staggeringly stammeringly
staggerer stammerer
  staggerers stammerers
swag swam
swig swim
  swigging swimming
  swigs swims
thug thumb
  thugs thumbs
tog Tom 
trigger trimmer
  triggers trimmers
unplugged unplumbed
Whig whim
  Whigs whims
wig whim
  wigs whims  

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