Consonants /t/ versus /w/, 278 pairs     [taxiwaxy.html]

The only spelling of /t/ in this list is <t>. This is because virtually all the contrasts are in syllable-initial position or in the clusters <st>/<sw>. The /w/ sound is <w>, <wh> or <u> in suede. Notice how the homograph tear makes pairs with the partial homograph wear/Wear and with weir.

The contrast is between a voiceless plosive and a voiced semivowel, well separated in the mouth. It is not a problem for learners.

There is one taboo word pair, tank/wank.

Interesting pairs include:

stagger swagger
starve suave
tauter water
taxi waxy
torrent warrant

The mean density value is 1.6%. The list makes 133 semantic distinctions, a loading of 48%.

crosstalk crosswalk
stag swag
stagger swagger
  staggered swaggered
  staggering swaggering
  staggers swaggers
staggerer swaggerer
  staggerers swaggerers
staid suede
staid swayed
stain swain
  stains swains
stair swear
  stairs swears
stank swank
stare swear
  staring swearing
  stares swears
starve suave
stay sway
  staying swaying
  stays sways
  stayed swayed
stayed suede
steep sweep
  steeping sweeping
  steeps sweeps
steeper sweeper
stepped swept
stet sweat
still swill
  stilled swilled
  stilling swilling
  stills swills
sting swing
  stinging swinging
  stings swings
sterling swirling
Stirling swirling
stitch switch
  stitched switched
  stitches switches
  stitching switching
stolen swollen
stomp swamp
  stomped swamped
  stomping swamping
  stomps swamps
stoop swoop
  stooped swooped
  stooping swooping
  stoops swoops
stop swap
  stopped swapped
  stopping swapping
  stops swaps
store swore
stored sward
storm swarm
  stormed swarmed
  storming swarming
  storms swarms
steed Swede 
  steeds Swedes 
T we  
T wee
  T's wees
tack whack
  tacked whacked
  tacking whacking
  tacks whacks
tacks wax
tag wag
  tagged wagged
  tagging wagging
  tags wags
tail wail
  tailed wailed
  tailing wailing
  tails wails
tailor whaler
  tailors whalers
tails Wales 
tail whale
  tails whales
take wake
  takes wakes
  taking waking
taken waken
tale wail
  tales wails
tale whale
  tales whales
talk walk
  talked walked
  talking walking
  talks walks
talker walker
  talkers walkers
tall wall
tang whang
tangle wangle
  tangled wangled
  tangles wangles
  tangling wangling
tank wank
  tanked wanked
  tanking wanking
  tanks wanks
tare ware
  tares wares
taste waist	   
  tastes waists
  tasted waisted
taste waste
  tastes wastes
  tasting wasting
  tasted wasted
tasteful wasteful
  tastefully wastefully
taster waster
  tasters wasters
taut wart
taught wart
tauter water   
tawse wars
tax wax
  taxed waxed
  taxing waxing
  taxes waxes
taxi waxy
Tayside wayside
tea we
tea wee
  teas wees
teas wheeze
tear ware
  tears wares
  tearing waring
tear Wear 
tear weir
  tears weirs
tease wheeze
  teased wheezed
  teasing wheezing
  teases wheezes
teasel weasel
  teasels weasels
Ted wed
tee we
tee wee
  tees wees
  teeing weeing
tees wheeze
tel well
tell well
  telling welling
  tells wells 
ten wen
  tens wens
tend wend
  tended wended
  tending wending
  tends wends
tense whence
tent went
term worm
  termed wormed
  terming worming
  terms worms
Terry wherry
terse worse
test west
tether weather
  tethered weathered
  tethering weathering
  tethers weathers
ticket wicket
  tickets wickets
tie Y 	 
  ties Y's 
tier Wear
tier weir
  tiers weirs
tiered weird
tiff whiff
  tiffs whiffs
tight Wight 
tight white
  tighter whiter
  tightest whitest
  tights whites
tighten whiten
  tightened whitened
  tightening whitening
  tightens whitens
tile while
  tiled whiled
  tiles whiles
  tiling whiling
tilt wilt
  tilted wilted
  tilting wilting
  tilts wilts
tine whine
  tined whined
  tines whines
tine wine
  tined wined
  tines wines  
tinkle winkle
  tinkled winkled
  tinkles winkles
  tinkling winkling
tip whip
  tipped whipped
  tips whips
  tipping whipping
tippet whippet
  tippets whippets
tire wire
  tired wired
  tires wires
  tiring wiring
tittle Wythall 
to woo
toad woad
toddle waddle
  toddled waddled
  toddles waddles
  toddling waddling
toddy wadi
  toddies wadis
toe whoa
  toes woes
token woken
told wold
tomb womb
  tombs wombs
ton one
  tons ones 
ton won
too woo
top whop
  topped whopped
  topping whopping
  tops whops
topper whopper
  toppers whoppers
toque woke
tor war	
  tors wars
tore war
torn warn
torrent warrant
  torrents warrants
tort wart
  torts warts
tot watt
  tots watts
tot what
tun one
  tuns ones
tun won  
turd whirred
turd word
  turds words
Turk work
  Turks works
two woo
  twos woos
Tyne whine
Tyne wine
type wipe
  typed wiped
  types wipes
  typing wiping
unties unwise

John Higgins, Shaftesbury, February 2010.