Consonants /b/ versus /d/: 446 pairs     [bogdog.html]

There are no spelling problems, since the spelling of /b/ is always either <b> or <bb>, and /d/ is either <d> or <dd> apart from the one case of <dh> in dhow. There is a silent <b> in doubt. Notice that the homographs abuse and bow turn up making two different contrasts. I have removed, with regret, some pairs found by the computer where the contrast occurs twice or in complementary positions, such as bauble/dawdle, bestirred/disturb, bawd/daub and bubbly/Dudley.

The contrast is between two voiced plosives, fairly well apart in the mouth. There might be a small problem when the contrast is word-final using an unreleased allophone, but I have not heard of it being a problem even for Dutch and German speakers who tend not to voice final stops. The distinction could be neutralised by assimilation. If these was such a term as "lobe-bearing", it would readily become a homophone of "load-bearing". Some rhyming pairs from this set have become familiar phrases, such as "brain drain" and "Boris and Doris".

There is a slight potential for embarrassment with the pair boob/booed.

Interesting pairs include

aberration adoration
Basil dazzle
beacon deacon
blurb blurred
boner donor
briar drier
buckling duckling
cube queued
herbal hurdle
treadle treble

The mean density value is 3%. The list makes 239 semantic distinctions, a loading of 54%.
Abe aid
aberration adoration
aboard adored
abreast addressed
abuse adduce
  abuses adduces
abuse adieux
arbour ardour
  arbours ardours
audit orbit
  audited orbited
  auditing orbiting
  audits orbits
awed orb
  B's D's
babble dabble
  babbles dabbles
  babbling dabbling
  babbled dabbled
babbler dabbler
  babblers dabblers
babe bayed
babe bade
backer Dakar 
bail dale
bailey daily
  baileys dailies
bail dale
  bails dales
bait date
  baited dated
  baiting dating
  baits dates	 
baize days  
bale dale
  bales dales
balking Dorking 
bally dally
ban Dan 
bandy dandy
  bandies dandies
bane Dane 
bangle dangle
  bangles dangles
bank dank
banker danker
barb bard
  barbs bards
barb baa'd
bare dare
  bared dared
  bares dares
  baring daring
bark dark
barker darker
barn darn
  barns darns
base dace
bash dash
  bashes dashes
  bashing dashing
Basil dazzle
bate date
  bated dated
  bating dating
  bates dates
bay day
  bays days
be D
beacon deacon
  beacons deacons
beam deem
  beamed deemed
  beaming deeming
  beams deems
bean dean 
  beans deans
been dean  
beau do
  beaux does
beauty duty
  beauties duties
  beautiful dutiful
  beauteous duteous
beck deck
  becks decks
bed dead
bedpan deadpan
bee D
  bees D's
beep deep
  beeps deeps
beer dear
  beers dears
beer deer
beery dearie
belay delay
  belayed delayed
  belaying delaying
  belays delays
bell dell
  bells dells
belle dell
  belles dells
belly Delhi 
belt dealt
ben den
  bens dens
benison denizen
  benisons denizens
Benny Denny
bent dent
  bents dents
berth dearth
  berths dearths
Bertie dirty
beside decide
  besides decides
better debtor
  betters debtors
bevel devil
  bevelled devilled
  bevelling devilling
  bevels devils
bey day
  beys days
bib bid
  bibbing bidding
  bibs bids
bicker dicker
  bickered dickered
  bickering dickering
  bickers dickers
bidder dibber
  bidders dibbers
bide died
bier dear
  biers dears
bier deer  
big dig
bigger digger
bike dike
  biked diked
  bikes dikes
  biking diking
bin din
  bins dins
bind dined
bine dine
  bines dines
birth dearth
  births dearths
bitch ditch
  bitched ditched
  bitches ditches
  bitching ditching
blabber bladder
  blabbers bladders
blurb blurred
boar daw
  boars daws
boar door
  boars doors
boast dosed
boat dote
  boated doted
  boating doting
  boats dotes
bobby body
  bobbies bodies
bobbin dobbin
  bobbins dobbins
bog dog
  bogged dogged
  bogging dogging
  bogs dogs
boggy doggie
bold doled
bole dole
  boles doles
bolt dolt
  bolts dolts
bond donned
boner donor
  boners donors
Bonn Don
boo do
  boos do's
  booing doing
boob booed
boom doom
  boomed doomed
  booming dooming
  booms dooms
boor dour
booze do's
bore daw
  bores daws
bore door
  bores doors    
Boris Doris
boss doss
  bossed dossed
  bosses dosses
  bossing dossing
bottle dottle
  bottles dottles
bough dhow
  boughs dhows
bound downed
bourbon Durban 
Bourne Dawn
bout doubt
  bouts doubts   
bow dhow
  bows dhows
bow doe
  bows does
bowel dowel
  bowels dowels
bower dower
  bowers dowers
bowl dole
  bowling doling
  bowled doled
  bowls doles
bows doze
box docks
brae dray
  braes drays
brag drag
  bragged dragged
  bragging dragging
  brags drags
brain drain
  brained drained
  braining draining
  brains drains
brake drake
  brakes drakes
brat drat
  brats drats
brawl drawl
  brawled drawled
  brawling drawling
  brawls drawls
brawn drawn
bread dread
bred dread
breast dressed
brew drew
briar drier
  briars driers
bribe bride
  bribes brides
bride dried
brill drill
brink drink
  brinks drinks
brogue drogue
  brogues drogues
Bros dross
brown drown
  browned drowned
  browning drowning
  browns drowns
brows drowse
browse drowse
  browsed drowsed
  browses drowses
  browsing drowsing
bubble double
  bubbled doubled
  bubbles doubles
  bubbling doubling
bubbly doubly
buck duck
  bucked ducked
  bucking ducking
  bucks ducks
Buckie ducky
buckling duckling
bud dub
buds dubs
buffer duffer
  buffers duffers
bug dug
  bugs dugs
bum dumb
bump dump
  bumped dumped
  bumping dumping
  bumps dumps
bumper dumper
  bumpers dumpers
bumpy dumpy
  bumpier dumpier
  bumpiest dumpiest
bun done
bun dun
  buns duns
bunk dunk
  bunked dunked
  bunking dunking
  bunks dunks
burke dirk
  burkes dirks
burst durst
bused dost
bused dust
bust dost
bust dust
  busted dusted
  busting dusting
  busts dusts
busy dizzy
  busied dizzied
  busying dizzying
  busier dizzier
  busies dizzies
  busiest dizziest
  busily dizzily
buster duster
  busters dusters
bust-up dust-up
  bust-ups dust-ups
buy Di 
buy die
  buys dies
  buying dying
by Di
by die
buyer dire
buyer dyer
  buyers dyers
buzz does
cab cad
cabby caddie
  cabbies caddies
cob cod
  cobs cods
cobble coddle
  cobbled coddled
  cobbles coddles
  cobbling coddling
cub cud
cube queued
curb curd
  curbs curds
dab dad
  dabs dads
deb dead 
describe descried
dibble diddle
  dibbled diddled
  dibbles diddles
  dibbling diddling
dub dud
  dubs duds
ebb Ed 
fab fad
Feb Fed
gab gad
garb guard
  garbing guarding
  garbs guards
globe glowed
gob god 
  gobs gods
grebe greed
harbour harder
herb heard
herb herd
  herbs herds
herbal hurdle
hob hod
  hobs hods
knob nod
  knobs nods
knobble noddle
  knobbles noddles
lab lad
  labs lads
label ladle
  labelled ladled
  labels ladles
Libya Lydia
lobe load
  lobes loads
lobe lode
  lobes lodes
lobs Lodz
mob Mod 
  mobs Mods 
ob odd
outbid outdid
overbid overdid
pebble pedal
  pebbles pedals
pleb pled
rebound redound
  rebounded redounded
  rebounding redounding
  rebounds redounds
rib rid
  ribbing ridding
  ribs rids
robe road
  robes roads
rob rod
  robs rods
rubber rudder
  rubbers rudders
rubble ruddle
ruby Rudy 
sob sod
  sobbing sodding
  sobs sods
squab squad
  squabs squads
squib squid
  squibs squids
stub stud
  stubs studs
  stubbing studding
stubbly Studley 
stubby study
subs suds
Toby toady
treadle treble
  treadled trebled
  treadles trebles
  treadling trebling
tribe tried
web wed
  webbing wedding
wobble waddle 
  wobbled waddled 
  wobbles waddles 
  wobbling waddling 

John Higgins, Shaftesbury, January 2010.