Consonants /b/ versus /f/: 525 pairs     [bogfog.html]

The spelling of /b/ is always either <b> or <bb>. The /f/ sound is <f> or <ff> and occasionally <ph> as in camphor.

The contrast is between a voiced plosive and a voiceless fricative. Although they are fairly close in the mouth. I have never heard of it being a problem.

One taboo word pair is buck/fuck.

Interesting pairs include

baboon buffoon
bantam phantom
barrier farrier
bellow fellow
bigger figure
binary finery
blemish Flemish
hibernate hyphenate
wobble waffle

The mean density value is 5.5%. The list makes 259 semantic distinctions, a loading of 49%.

aboard afford
abrade afraid
alb Alf 
B fee
baa fa
baa far
baas farce
babble baffle
  babbled baffled
  babbles baffles
  babbling baffling
babel fable
  babels fables
baboon buffoon
  baboons buffoons
backed fact
bad fad
bag fag
  bagged fagged
  bagging fagging
  bags fags
bail fail
  bailed failed
  bailing failing
  bails fails  
bait fate
  baits fates  
  baited fated
bait fête
  baited fêted
  baiting fêting
  baits fêtes
bake fake
  baked faked
  bakes fakes
  baking faking
bale fail
  bales fails
  baled failed
balk fork
  balked forked
  balking forking
  balks forks
ball fall
  balling falling
  balls falls
balm farm
bane fain
ban fan
  banned fanned
  banning fanning
  bans fans
bang fang
  bangs fangs
bantam phantom
  bantams phantoms
bar far
bare fair 
  bares fairs
  barer fairer
  barest fairest
bare fare  
  bared fared
  bares fares
  baring faring
barely fairly
barrier farrier
  barriers farriers
barrow farrow
  barrows farrows
base face
  based faced
  bases faces
  basing facing
baser facer
bass face
  basses faces
bat fat
  bats fats
  batted fatted
  batting fatting
bate fate
  bates fates
  bated fated
bate fête
  bates fêtes  
  bated fêted
batten fatten
  battened fattened
  battening fattening
  battens fattens
batter fatter
batty fatty
bawd ford
  bawds fords
bay fey
bays phase
bays baize
bayed fade
be fee
  being feeing
bear fair
  bears fairs
bear fare
  bearing faring
  bears fares  
beard feared
bearish fairish
beast feast
  beasts feasts
beau foe
  beaux foes
beaver fever
beavered fevered
beavers fevers
beckoned fecund
bed Fed 
bee fee
  bees fees
beer fear
  beers fears
beetle fetal
Bella fellah
bell fell
  belled felled
  bells fells
  belling felling
belle fell
  belles fells
bellow fellow
  bellows fellows
belt felt
ben fen
  bens fens
bend fend
  bended fended
  bending fending
  bends fends
Bern fern
Bernie ferny
berry ferry
  berries ferries
berth firth 
  berths firths
betted fetid
better fetter
  bettered fettered
  bettering fettering
  betters fetters
beys phase
beys baize
bhang fang
  bhangs fangs
bib biff
  bibbing biffing
  bibs biffs
  bibbed biffed
bib fib
  bibbed fibbed
  bibbinbg fibbing
  bibs fibs
bier fear
  biers fears
big fig
bigger figure
bight fight
  bights fights
bile file
bill fill
  bills fills
  lilled filled
  billing filling
billet fillet
  billeted filleted
  billeting filleting
  billets fillets
billy filly
  billies fillies
binary finery
bind find
  binding finding
  binds finds
binder finder
  binders finders
bine fine
  bines fines
birth firth
  births firths
bite fight
  biting fighting
  bites fights
bitter fitter
  bitters fitters
black flak
blacks flax
blade flayed
blame flame
  blamed flamed
  blames flames
  blaming flaming
blank flank
  blanks flanks
blare flair
  blares flairs
blare flare
  blared flared
  blaring flaring
  blares flares
blaze flays
bleat fleet 
  bleating fleeting
bled fled
blemish Flemish 
blew flew	  
blew flue
blight flight
  blighted flighted
  blighting flighting
  blights flights
Blighty flighty
blip flip
  blips flips
bloat float
  bloats floats
  bloated floated
  bloating floating
bloc flock
  blocs flocks
block flock
  blocked flocked
  blocking flocking
  blocks flocks
blood flood
  blooded flooded
  blooding flooding
  bloods floods
bloom flume
  blooms flumes
blow floe
  blows floes
blow flow
  blowed flowed
  blowing flowing
  blown flown
  blows floes
blubber bluffer
  blubbers bluffers
blue flew
blue flue
  blues flues
bluff fluff
  bluffed fluffed
  bluffing fluffing
  bluffs fluffs
blurt flirt
  blurted flirted
  blurting flirting
  blurts flirts
blush flush
  blushed flushed
  blushes flushes
  blushing flushing
bluster fluster
  blustered flustered
  blustering flustering
  blusters flusters
Blyth fly
boar for
boar fore
boar four
  boars fours
board ford
  boarded forded
  boarding fording
  boards fords
bob fob
  bobbed fobbed
  bobs fobs
  bobbing fobbing
bobbin boffin
  bobbins boffins
bog fog
  bogs fogs
  bogged fogged
  bogging fogging
bogey fogey
  bogeys fogeys
boggy foggy
  boggier foggier
  boggiest foggiest
boil foil
  boiled foiled
  boiling foiling
  boils foils
bold foaled
bold fold
bolder folder
bole foal
  boles foals
bond fond
bone phone
  boned phoned
  bones phones
  boning phoning
bony phoney
Bootle footle
borage forage
bore for
bore fore
bore four
  bores fours
bored ford
boss fosse
  bosses fosses
bought fort
bought fought
boulder folder
  boulders folders
bound found
  bounded founded
  bounding founding
  bounds founds
boundary foundry
  boundaries foundries
bounder founder
  bounders founders
Bourne faun
Bourne fawn
bow foe
  bows foes
bowled foaled
bowled fold
bowling foaling
box fox
  boxed foxed
  boxes foxes
  boxing foxing
boy Fowey 
brae fray
  braes frays	 
braes phrase  
braid frayed
braille frail
braise phrase
  braised phrased
  braises phrases
  braising phrasing
bran Fran 
bray fray
  braying fraying
  brayed frayed
  brays frays
brays phrase  
bread Fred 
bred Fred
Breda Freda
breed freed
breeze frees
breeze frieze	 
  breezes friezes
breeze freeze
  breezes freezes
  breezing freezing
briar friar
  briars friars
bride fried
bridge fridge
  bridges fridges
bright fright
brighten frighten
  brightened frightened
  brightening frightening
  brightens frightens
Brighton frighten
brill frill
brisk frisk
broad fraud
  broads frauds
broom Frome 
broth froth
brought fraught
brow Frau 
brown frown
  browned frowned
  browning frowning
  browns frowns
bruit fruit
  bruited fruited
  bruiting fruiting
  bruits fruits
brunt front
  brunts fronts
buck fuck
  bucked fucked
  bucking fucking
  bucks fucks
budge fudge
  budges fudges
bug fug
  bugs fugs
buggy fuggy
bully fully
bunk funk
  bunked funked
  bunking funking
  bunks funks
bunny funny
buoy Fowey
burn fern
  burns ferns
burnish furnish
  burnished furnished
  burnishing furnishing
burns ferns
burr fir
  burrs firs
burr fur
  burrs furs
burrow furrow
  burrowed furrowed
  burrowing furrowing
  burrows furrows
burst first
  bursts firsts
bury ferry
  burying ferrying
  buried ferried
  buries ferries
bus fuss
  bused fussed
  buses fusses
  busing fussing
busy fizzy
  busier fizzier
  busies fizzes
  busiest fizziest
but phut
butt phut
buy fie
buyer fire
  buyers fires
buzz fuzz
by fie
bye fie
cab caff
  cabs caffs
camber camphor
cob cough
  cobs coughs
cobber coffer
  cobbers coffers
cub cuff
  cubs cuffs
deb deaf 
debase deface
  debased defaced
  debasement defacement
  debasements defacements
  debases defaces
  debasing defacing
dibber differ
  dibbers differs
double duffel
ebb F 
  ebbing effing
football footfall
  footballs footfalls
gab gaff
grebe grief
grub gruff
hibernate hyphenate
  hibernated hyphenated
  hibernates hyphenates
  hibernating hyphenating
hub huff
hubby huffy
loaf lobe	 
nib niff
ob off
overblown overflown
pub puff
  pubs puffs
rabble raffle
  rabbles raffles
rebuild refilled
rib riff
rub rough 
  rubs roughs
  rubbing roughing 
  rubbed roughed
rubber rougher 
rubbish roughish 
rubble ruffle
sabre safer
scrub scruff
  scrubby scruffy
  scrubbier scruffier
  scrubbiest scruffiest
snub snuff
  snubs snuffs
  snubbing snuffing
  snubbed snuffed
sober sofa
  sobers sofas
stub stuff
  stubbing stuffing
  stubbed stuffed
  stubs stuffs
stubby stuffy
  stubbier stuffier
  stubbiest stuffiest
sub sough 
  subbing soughing 
  subbed soughed
  subs soughs
tabby Taffy 
  tabbies Taffies 
trouble truffle
  troubles truffles
tub tough 
tubby toughie 
wobble waffle 
  wobbled waffled 
  wobbles waffles 
  wobbling waffling 

John Higgins, Shaftesbury, January 2010.