Consonants /b/ versus /s/: 453 pairs     [batsat.html]

The spelling of /b/ is either <b> or <bb>. The /s/ sound has a variety of spellings including <s>, <ss>, <c>, <ps> in psalm, and is in the letter names C and S. Notice how the homograph sow contrasts with beau and bough as well as with another homograph bow.

The contrast is between a voiced stop and a voiceless fricative, so confusions are very unlikely.

The only pair involving a mildly taboo word is bum/some.

Interesting pairs include

adverb adverse
baboon bassoon
ballad salad
balloon saloon
beast ceased
beckoned second
blimey slimy
bonnet sonnet
borrow sorrow
burton certain
butler subtler
honourably onerously
obey assay
rebus rhesus
seaboard seesawed
shabby chassis

The mean density value is 2.3%. The list makes 222 semantic distinctions, a loading of 49%.

abbeys asses
Abe ace
abide aside
  abides asides
aborted assorted
adverb adverse
Arab arras
  B's C's
B sea
  B's seas
B see	  
  B's sees
babe base
babel basal
babies bases
baboon bassoon
  baboons bassoons
back sac
back sack
  backs sacks
  backed sacked
  backing sacking
backcloth sackcloth
bad sad
  badly sadly
  badness sadness
bag sag
  bagged sagged
  bagging sagging
  bags sags
bail sail
  bails sails
  bailing sailing
  bailed sailed
bail sale
  bails sales
bait sate
  baited sated
  baiting sating
  baits sates
bake sake
  bakes sakes
bale sail
  bales sails
  baling sailing
  baled sailed
bale sale
  bales sales  
ballad salad
  ballads salads
balloon saloon
  balloons saloons
bally sally 
balm psalm	 
band sand
  banding sanding
  bands sands
  banded sanded
bandy sandy 
  bandier sandier
  bandiest sandiest
bane sane
bang sang
bank sank
banned sand
barb baas 
barb sahib
  barbs sahibs
bash sash
  bashes sashes
bat sat
bate sate
  bating sating
  bated sated
  bates sates
baton Saturn 
batter satyr
  batters satyrs
bawd sawed
bawd sword
  bawds swords
bay say
  baying saying
BC cc
be sea	   
be see
  being seeing
bee sea
  bees seas	
bee see
  bees sees  
beady seedy
beak seek
  beaks seeks
beak Sikh 
  beaks Sikhs 
beam seam
  beamed seamed
  beaming seaming
  beams seams
bean seen
bean scene
  beans scenes
beard seared
beast ceased  
beat seat
  beating seating
  beats seats
beau sew
  beaux sews
beau sow
  beaux sows
beck sec
  becks secs
beckoned second
bed said
been seen
been scene
beep seep
  beeps seeps
beer sear
  beers sears
beet seat
  beets seats
beldam seldom
bell cell
  bells cells
bell sell
  bells sells  
  belling selling
belle cell
  belles cells
belle sell
  belles sells
bend send
  bending sending
  bends sends
bent cent
  bents cents
berated serrated
bet set
  bets sets
  betting setting
better setter
  betters setters
Bhutan soutane
Bicester sister
bide side
  bided sided
  bides sides
  biding siding
bide sighed
bier sear
  biers sears
biffed sift
bight cite
  bights cites
bight sight
  bights sights
bight site
  bights sites  
bilk silk
  bilks silks
billy silly
  billies sillies
bind signed
bine sign
  bines signs
binge singe
  binges singes
birch search
  birched searched
  birches searches
  birching searching
bird surd
bite cite
  biting citing
  bites cites
bite sight
  bites sights
bite site
  bites sites    
bitter sitter
  bitters sitters
blab slab
  blabs slabs
black slack
  blacked slacked
  blacking slacking
  blacks slacks
  blacker slacker
  blackest slackest
blacken slacken
  blackened slackened
  blackening slackening
  blackens slackens
blade sleighed
blaze slays
bleak sleek
  bleaker sleeker
  bleakest sleekest
  bleakly sleekly
bleat sleet
  bleated sleeted
  bleating sleeting
  bleats sleets
bled sled
bleep sleep
  bleeping sleeping
  bleeps sleeps
blew slew
blight sleight
  blights sleights
blight slight  
  blighted slighted
  blighter slighter
  blighting slighting
blimey slimy
blink slink
  blinking slinking
  blinks slinks
blithering slithering
blob slob
  blobs slobs
blot slot
  blots slots
  blotted slotted
  blotting slotting
blouse sloughs
blow sloe
  blows sloes
blow slow
  blowed slowed
  blowing slowing
  blows slows
blower slower
blue slew
  blued slewed
  blues slews
  bluing slewing
bluff slough
  bluffed sloughed
  bluffing sloughing
  bluffs sloughs
blur slur
  blurred slurred
  blurring slurring
  blurs slurs
blush slush
boar saw
  boars saws
boar soar
  boars soars	
boar sore
  boars sores  
board sawed
board sword
  boards swords
bob boss
  bobbing bossing
  bobbed bossed
bob sob
  bobbed sobbed
  bobbing sobbing
  bobs sobs
bobbies bosses
bobby bossy
bode sewed
bode sowed
bodied sodded
Boer sewer
  Boers sewers
boggy soggy
  boggier soggier
  boggiest soggiest
boil soil
  boiled soiled
  boiling soiling
  boils soils
bold sold
bole Seoul 
bole sole
  boles soles
bole soul
  boles souls
bone sewn
bonnet sonnet
  bonnets sonnets
boo Sioux 
boo sou
  boos sous
boon soon
booth soothe
  booths soothes
booze sous  
bore saw	 
  bores saws
  bored sawed
bore soar
  boring soaring
  bored soared
  bores soars  
bore sore
  bores sores  
bored sword
borrow sorrow
  borrowed sorrowed
  borrowing sorrowing
  borrows sorrows
bough sow
  boughs sows
bought sort	  
boulder solder
  boulders solders
bound sound
  bounded sounded
  bounding sounding
  bounds sounds
Bourne sawn
bow sew
  bows sews
  bowing sewing
  bowed sewed
bow sow
  bows sows
  bowing sowing
  bowed sowed  
bower sour
  bowers sours
bowl Seoul
bowl sole
  bowls soles
  bowling soling
  bowled soled
bowl soul
  bowls souls  
bowler solar
box socks
boy soy
bubble bustle
  bubbled bustled
  bubbles bustles
  bubbling bustling
buck suck
  bucked sucked
  bucking sucking
  bucks sucks
buckle suckle
  buckled suckled
  buckles suckles
  buckling suckling
buds suds
buff sough
  buffed soughed
  buffing soughing
  buffs soughs
buffer suffer
  buffers suffers
built silt
bulk sulk
  bulked sulked
  bulking sulking
  bulks sulks
bulky sulky
  bulkier sulkier
  bulkiest sulkiest
bum some
bum sum
  bummed summed
  bumming summing
  bums sums
bump sump
  bumps sumps
bun son
  buns sons
bun sun
  buns suns  
bunk sunk
bunny sonny
  bunnies sonnies
bunny sunny
bur sir
burr sir
  burrs sirs
Burberry bursary
  Burberries bursaries
burgeon surgeon
  burgeons surgeons
buried serried
burly surly
  burlier surlier
  burliest surliest
burton certain
bus suss
  bused sussed
  buses susses
  busing sussing
bust sussed
butler subtler
button Sutton 
buy sigh
  buys sighs
  buying sighing
buyer sire
  buyers sires
by sigh
bye sigh
cob cos
crab crass
cub cuss
curb curse
  curbing cursing
  curbed cursed
ebb S 
fob fosse
gab gas
grebe grease 
herb hearse
honourably onerously
hubby hussy
  hubbies hussies
job joss
lab lass
lob loss
  lobbed lost
lobbies losses
mob moss
obey assay 
  obeyed assayed 
  obeying assaying 
  obeys assays 
pebble pestle
  pebbles pestles
piteously pitiably
pub pus
rebus rhesus
  rebuses rhesuses
rubble rustle
seaboard seesawed
Selby Selsey
shabby chassis 
sub suss
  subbing sussing
  subbed sussed
treble trestle
  trebles trestles
tribe trice
unbound unsound
variably variously
verb verse
wallaby Wallasey 

John Higgins, Shaftesbury, January 2010.