Vowels 12 and 20, /ə/ versus /ʊə/    4 pairs      [asiaazure.html]

The dictionary did not list any pairs for this contrast, but there is no absolute reason for this. Some speakers might make the pair Asia/azure into a minimal pair, although most people will pronounce them identically. The German name Dieter, which was not in the dictionary, contrasts with detour which unusually uses the /ʊə/ diphthong in an unstressed position. Recently there has come into being an insurance company called e-sure, and this makes a minimal pair with the place name Esher. Buster and bus-tour, which were not in the dictionary, are different in stress so are not truly minimal. (My thanks to Muriel Higgins for coming up with these suggestions.)

Asia azure	   
Dieter detour
Esher e-sure	 
Buster bus-tour.

John Higgins, Shaftesbury, December 2009