Consonants /g/ versus /ʤ/, 115 pairs     [gustjust.html]

The /g/ sound is spelled with <g>, <gg>, <gh> in ghoul or <gu> in guard. In initial position the /ʤ/ sound is spelled <j>, or <g> before <e> or <i>, but notice the very unusual initial <g> in gaol. In medial and final positions it is <g(e)> or <dg(e)> Notice the homograph gill meaning either a part of a fish or a liquid measure, pairing with itself and the name Jill.

The contrast is between a velar stop and a palatal affricate, both voiced. Most of the problems arise from the spelling rather than the intrinsic difficulty of the sounds.

Interesting pairs include:

gannet Janet
gayness Janus
gumbo jumbo

The mean density value is 2.3%. The list makes 70 semantic distinctions, a loading of 61%.

bag badge 
Bergen burgeon
brig bridge
bug budge 
  bugged budged 
  bugging budging 
buggies budges 
buggy budgie 
dog dodge 
  dogged dodged 
  dogging dodging 
doggies dodges 
doggie dodgy 
drug drudge 
  drugged drudged 
  drugging drudging 
egg edge 
  egged edged 
  egging edging 
erg urge
fug fudge 
gab jab
Gael gaol
  Gaels gaols
gale gaol
  gales gaols
gag jag
  gagged jagged
  gagging jagging
  gags jags
gain Jane 
games James 
gangling jangling
gannet Janet 
gape jape
  gapes japes
gaud jawed
gaunt jaunt
gauze jaws
gay J 
  gays J's 
gayness Janus 
gear jeer
  geared jeered
  gearing jeering
  gears jeers
geezers Jesus 
geld gelled
get jet
  gets jets
  getting jetting
ghee G 
Ghent gent
gherkin jerkin
  gherkins jerkins
ghoul joule
  ghouls joules
gig jig
  gigs jigs
giggle jiggle
  giggled jiggled
  giggles jiggles
  giggling jiggling
gill (part of a fish) gill (liquid measure)
  gills gills	  
gill Jill  
gilt jilt
go Jo 
gob job
  gobs jobs
goggle joggle
  goggled joggled
  goggles joggles
  goggling joggling
golly jolly
gone John 
goo Jew 
Goole joule
goon June
  goons Junes 
goose juice
Gordon Jordan
gore jaw
  gores jaws
  gored jawed
gorge George 
  gorges Georges 
gosh Josh 
got jot
guard jarred
guess Jess 
guessed jest
guest jest
  guests jests
gumbo jumbo
gust just
gut jut
  guts juts
  gutted jutted
  gutting jutting
jug judge 
  jugged judged 
  jugging judging 
laager larger
league liege
leg ledge 
log lodge 
  logged lodged 
  logging lodging 
mag Madge 
rig ridge 
  rigged ridged 
  rigging ridging 
slug sludge 
smug smudge 

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