Consonants /p/ versus /n/, 563 pairs     [peckneck.html]

The spelling of /p/ is always either <p> or <pp>. The /n/ sound is spelled <n>, <nn> or <gn> in a few words such as gnaw.

Since /n/ can be syllabic or consonantal, there is a problem with such pairs as crisp/christen, lisp/listen and lisping/listening, which differ in syllable count, although the computer algorithm includes them as minimal.

The contrast is between a voiceless plosive and a voiced nasal continuant well apart in the mouth. The only problems for learners might occur with speakers of languages which do not allow post-vocalic clusters, who might have trouble with pairs such as skipped/skint.

The only pair involving any taboo words is cupped/cunt.

Interesting pairs include:

captor canter
chapel channel
operable honourable
pothole knothole
speakers sneakers

The mean density value is 2.7%. The list makes 300 semantic distinctions, a loading of 53%.

aped ain't 
appeal anneal 
  appealed annealed 
  appealing annealing 
  appeals anneals 
apples annals 
appoint anoint 
  appointed anointed 
  appointing anointing 
  appoints anoints 
appointment anointment 
  appointments anointments 
apt ant 
Bacup bacon 
beep bean 
  beeps beans
beep been
burp Bern 
  burped burnt 
  burping burning 
  burps burns
burp Bern
cap can
  capped canned
  capping canning 
  caps cans
cap Cannes 
cape Cain
cape cane
  caped caned
  capes canes
capped cant
captor canter 
  captors canters 
carp Calne 
carp khan
carpal carnal 
carped can't 
chapel channel 
  chapels channels 
chip chin 
  chipped chinned
  chips chins
chirp churn
  chirped churned
  chirping churning
  chirps churns
clap clan 
  claps clans
coop coon 
  coops coons
cop con 
  copped conned
  copping conning
  cops cons
cope Colne 
cope cone
  coped coned
  coping coning 
  copes cones
cops cons 
copse cons
copy Connie 
Corp corn
crepe crane
crisp christen
  crisping christening 
croup croon 
cupped cunt 
cupping cunning 
deception dissension
  deceptions dissensions
deep dean
dip din 
  dipped dinned
  dipping dinning 
  dips dins
dipped dint 
dipper dinner 
  dippers dinners 
doped don't 
drape drain 
  draped drained
  draping draining 
  drapes drains
dupe dune 
  dupes dunes
epoch Enoch 
flap flan 
  flaps flans
flipped flint 
gallop gallon
galloped gallant 
Gallup gallon
gape gain 
  gaped gained
  gaping gaining 
  gapes gains
gawped gaunt 
grape grain 
  grapes grains
grip grin 
  gripped grinned
  gripping grinning 
  grips grins
grippe green
grope groan 
  groped groaned
  groping groaning 
  gropes groans
grope grown
gyp gin 
  gypping ginning 
  gyps gins
gyp djinn
hep hen 
hop Hon 
hope hone
  hoped honed
  hoping honing 
  hopes hones
jape Jane 
jeep Jean 
jeep gene
  jeeps genes
keep keen 
  keeping keening 
  keeps keens
keeper keener 
kept Kent 
kip kin 
kopje Connie
leap lean 
  leaping leaning 
  leaps leans
  leapt leant
leapt lent
leapt Lent
leopard Leonard 
lip Lynn
lipped lint 
lisp listen
  lisping listening
loop loon 
  loops loons
loopy loony 
lope loan 
  loped loaned
  loping loaning 
  lopes loans
map man 
  mapped manned
  mapping manning 
  maps mans
maps manse 
mope moan 
  moped moaned
  moping moaning 
  mopes moans
mope mown
nappy nanny 
  nappies nannies 
nippy ninny 
nope known 
op on 
operable honourable 
opus onus 
P knee
  P's knees
pack knack 
  packs knacks 
packer knacker 
  packers knackers 
pail nail 
  pails nails 
pair ne'er 
pale nail
  paled nailed 
  paling nailing 
  pales nails
pap pan 
pare ne'er
park nark 
  parked narked 
  parking narking 
  parks narks 
pat gnat
  pats gnats
pat Nat 
patter natter 
  pattered nattered 
  pattering nattering 
  patters natters 
patty natty
pause gnaws 
pave knave 
  paves knaves 
pave nave
  paves naves
paw gnaw 
  pawed gnawed 
  pawing gnawing 
  paws gnaws
paw nor
pax knacks
pay nay
pay n_ee
pay neigh
  paying neighing 
  pays neighs 
  paid neighed 
pea knee
  peas knees
peace Nice 
peace niece
peal kneel
  pealed kneeled 
  pealing kneeling 
  peals kneels 
peal Neil
pear ne'er
pease knees
peat neat
peck neck 
  pecked necked 
  pecking necking 
  pecks necks 
pee knee
  pees knees
peed knead
peed need
peel kneel
  peeled kneeled
  peeling kneeling
  peels kneels
peel Neil
peer near 
  peered neared 
  peering nearing 
  peers nears 
pelt knelt 
people penal 
pep pen 
  pepped penned
  pepping penning 
  peps pens
peps pence 
pest nest 
pester Nestor 
pestle nestle 
  pestled nestled 
  pestles nestles 
  pestling nestling 
pests nests 
pet net 
  pets nets 
  petted netted 
  petting netting 
pet nett
petal nettle 
  petaled nettled 
  petals nettles 
Pete neat
peter neater
pew knew 
pew new
  pews news 
pewter neuter 
pi nigh 
pick nick
  picked nicked
  picking nicking
  picks nicks
picks nix
pickers knickers 
pickle nickel 
  pickled nickelled 
  pickles nickels 
pie nigh
piece Nice
piece niece
  pieces nieces 
pier near
  piers nears
pill nil
pine nine 
  pines nines 
pinny nippy 
  pinnies ninnies 
pip pin 
  pipped pinned
  pipping pinning 
  pips pins
pipe pine 
  piped pined
  piping pining 
  pipes pines
piped pint 
pit knit
  pitted knitted 
  pitting knitting 
  pits knits
pit nit 
  pits nits
pitch niche
  pitches niches
pitied knitted
pock knock 
  pocked knocked 
  pocks knocks 
pod nod 
  podded nodded 
  podding nodding 
  pods nods 
poise noise 
  poised noised 
  poises noises 
  poising noising 
pole knoll
  poles knolls
poll knoll
  polls knolls
ponce nonce 
  ponces nonces 
poodle noodle 
  poodles noodles 
pooh gnu 
poop noon 
pops ponce 
porch nautch
  porches nautches 
pore gnaw
  pored gnawed
  pores gnaws
pore nor 
port nought 
  ports noughts
pose knows 
pose nos
pose nose
  posed nosed 
  poses noses 
  posing nosing 
posh nosh 
posy nosey 
  posies noses
pot knot 
  pots knots
  potted knotted 
  potting knotting 
pot not
potable notable 
potation notation 
  potations notations 
pothole knothole 
  potholes knotholes 
potion notion 
  potions notions 
potty knotty 
  pottier knottier 
  pottiest knottiest 
pour gnaw
  poured gnawed
  pours gnaws
pour nor
pout knout 
  pouts knouts
pox knocks
preceptor precentor 
preceptors precentors 
P's knees
pub nub 
  pubs nubs 
pun none 
pun nun
  puns nuns 
pup pun 
puppet punnet 
  puppets punnets 
purse nurse 
  pursed nursed 
  purses nurses 
  pursing nursing 
putt nut 
  putts nuts 
  putted nutted 
  putting nutting 
puttee nutty 
puzzle nuzzle 
  puzzled nuzzled 
  puzzles nuzzles 
  puzzling nuzzling 
pylon nylon 
  pylons nylons 
pyre nigher 
pyx nicks
pyx nix
quip quin 
  quips quins
quips quince 
rap ran 
rape rain 
  raped rained
  rapes rains
  raping raining
rape reign
  raped reigned
  raping reigning
  rapes reigns
rape rein
  rapes reined
  rapes reins
  raping reining
rapier rainier 
rapped rant 
rapt rant
rep Rennes 
repp Rennes
rep wren
repp wren
ripe Rhine 
rips rinse 
rope roan 
  ropes roans
sceptre centre 
  sceptered centred 
  sceptres centres 
seep scene 
  seeps scenes
seep seen
sepia senior
Sept cent
Sept scent
Sept sent
sheep sheen 
ship shin 
  shipped shinned
  shipping shinning 
  ships shins
shop shone 
sip sin 
  sipped sinned
  sipping sinning 
  sips sins
sips since 
skip skin 
  skipped skinned
  skipping skinning 
  skips skins
skipped skint 
soap sown 
soppier Sonia
soup soon 
spake snake 
spare snare 
  spared snared 
  spares snares 
  sparing snaring 
speak sneak
  speaking sneaking
  speaks sneaks
speaker sneaker
  speakers sneakers
spear sneer 
  speared sneered 
  spearing sneering 
  spears sneers 
spick snick
spied snide 
Spode snowed
spook snook 
  spooks snooks 
spore snore 
  spores snores 
sport snort 
  sported snorted 
  sporting snorting 
  sports snorts 
spot snot 
spotty snotty 
  spottier snottier 
  spottiest snottiest 
spout snout 
  spouts snouts 
step Sten 
steppe Sten
stepping Steyning 
sup son 
  sups sons
sup sun
  supped sunned
  supping sunning
  sups suns
super sooner 
swap swan 
  swapped swanned
  swapping swanning 
  swaps swans
swipe swine 
swoop swoon 
  swooped swooned
  swooping swooning 
  swoops swoons
tap tan 
  tapped tanned
  tapping tanning 
  taps tans
taped taint 
tip tin 
  tipped tinned
  tipping tinning 
  tips tins
tipped tint 
tope tone 
  toped toned
  toping toning 
  topes tones
topi Tony 
topic tonic 
  topics tonics 
troop Troon 
troupe Troon
tup tonne 
tup tun
type tine
type Tyne
up un 
updated undated 
upon Anon 
vapour vainer 
warp warn 
  warped warned
  warping warning 
  warps warns
warp worn
weep wean 
  weeping weaning 
  weeps weans
wept went 
whip whin 
whip win
  whips wins
  whipping winning
  whippings winnings
whipping-post winning-post
  whipping-posts winning-posts
whippy whinny 
whips wince
whop wan 
whopped want 
whopper wanner 
wipe whine 
  wiped whined
  wiping whining 
  wipes whines
wipe wine
  wiping wining
  wipes wines
wiper whiner 
  wipers whiners 
wrap ran
wrapped rant

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