Consonants /k/ versus /m/, 558 pairs     [catmat.html]

The /k/ sound is spelled with <c>, <cc>, <k>, <ch> in ache, and <q> in the letter name Q and the word queue. The /m/ sound is spelled <m> or <mm> throughout.

The contrast is between a voiceless velar stop and a voiced bilabial nasal continuant. It does not cause many listening problems.

The sentence "The cat sat on the mat" epitomises easy reading for young children. Other interesting pairs include:

carrion Marian
colour mullah
coral moral
cuddle muddle
custard mustard
optical optimal
recourse remorse
succour summer
supplicant supplement

Taboo word pairs include: cock/mock and coon/moon.

The mean density value is 3.3%. The list makes 270 semantic distinctions, a loading of 48%.

account amount
  accounted amounted
  accounting amounting
  accounts amounts
accuse amuse
  accused amused
  accuses amuses
  accusing amusing
  accusingly amusingly
ache aim
  aching aiming
  aches aims
  ached aimed
aconite ammonite
  aconites ammonites
arc arm
  arcs arms
ark arm	   
  arks arms
bark balm 
beak beam
  beaks beams
bodkin Bodmin 
brick brim
  bricking brimming
  bricked brimmed
  bricks brims
buck bum
  bucking bumming
  bucks bums
cable Mabel 
cache mash
  cached mashed
  caches mashes
  caching mashing
cad mad
caddie Maddy 
cadge Madge 
caisson mason
  caissons masons
cake came
cake make
  cakes makes
  caking making
Cali Mali
call maul
  called mauled
  calling mauling
  calls mauls
callow Mallow 
cam ma'am
camber mamba
  cambers mambas
came maim
camel mammal
  camels mammals
can man
  canned manned
  canning manning
  cans mans
candy Mandy 
cane main
  canes mains
cane mane
  canes manes
canna manna
cannas manners
Cannes man
cap map
  capping mapping
  caps maps
  capped mapped
Capt mapped
car ma
car mar
  cars mars
card marred
care mare
  cares mares
care mayor
  cares mayors
careen marine
  careens marines
Carl marl
Carlow Marlow
carpal Marple 
carriage marriage
  carriages marriages
carry marry
  carried married
  carries marries
  carrying marrying
carrion Marian 
cart mart
  carts marts
carter martyr
  carters martyrs
case mace
  cases maces
cash mash
  cashed mashed
  cashes mashes
  cashing mashing
cask mask 
  casks masks
cast mast
  casts masts
caste mast
  castes masts
caster master
  casters masters
cat mat 
  cats mats
catch match
  catches matches
  catching matching
cause maws
caw maw
  caws maws
caw more
cawed Maud 
Celt melt
  Celts melts
chorale morale
chuck chum
  chucking chumming
  chucks chums
clack clam
  clacking clamming
Co Mo
coal mole
  coals moles
coaled mould 
coking coaming 
coarse Morse 
coast most
coat moat
  coated moated
  coats moats
coax mokes
cob mob
  cobs mobs
cock mock
  cocked mocked
  cocking mocking
  cocks mocks
cocker mocker
  cockers mockers
cocker comma
  cockers commas
cod Mod 
  cods Mods 
coddle model
  coddled modelled
  coddles models
  coddling modelling
code mode
  codes modes
coil moil
  coiled moiled
  coiling moiling
  coils moils
coke comb
  cokes combs
col moll
  cols molls
cola molar
  colas molars
cold mould
  colds moulds
colder moulder
collie Molly 
colour mullah
  colours mullahs
colt moult
  colts moults
come mum
  comes mums
comer mummer
  comers mummers
comma mocha
comma mocker
  commas mockers
cone moan
  coned moaned
  cones moans
  coning moaning
coo moo
  cooing mooing
  coos moos
  cooed mooed
cooed mood
coon moon
  coons moons
coot moot
  coots moots
cop mop
  copped mopped
  copping mopping
  cops mops
cope mope
  coped moped
  copes mopes
  coping moping
Copt mopped
coral moral
  corals morals
core maw
  cores maws
core more
Cork corm
corn morn  
  corns morns
corn mourn
  corned mourned
  corning mourning
  corns mourns
corner mourner
  corners mourners
corning morning
cosy mosey
  cosies moseys
count mount 
  counted mounted
  counts mounts
county Mountie 
  counties Mounties 
course Morse
cove mauve
  coves mauves
cow mow
  cows mows
  cowing mowing
Cowes mows
cowrie Maori 
  cowries Maoris 
crack cram
  cracking cramming
  cracks crams
cracker crammer
  crackers crammers
creak cream
  creaking creaming
  creaks creams
creaky creamy
  creakier creamier
  creakiest creamiest
croak chrome 
cud mud
cuddle muddle
  cuddled muddled
  cuddles muddles
  cuddling muddling
cue mew
  cues mews
  cuing mewing
  cued mewed
cuff muff
  cuffed muffed	
  cuffing muffing
  cuffs muffs
cull mull
  culled mulled
  culling mulling
  culls mulls
cur myrrh
curses mercies
curtain Merton 
cuss muss
  cusses musses
  cussing mussing
custard mustard
cut mutt
  cuts mutts
cute mute
  cutely mutely
cutter mutter
  cutters mutters
deacon daemon 
  deacons daemons 
defecation defamation 
dekko demo
desiccate decimate 
  desiccated decimated 
  desiccates decimates 
  desiccating decimating 
dicker dimmer
  dickers dinners
dike dime
  dikes dimes
duck dumb
ducky dummy
  duckies dummies
earthwork earthworm
  earthworks earthworms
elk elm
  elks elms
embark embalm 
  embarking embalming 
  embarks embalms
fake fame
flake flame
  flaking flaming
  flakes flames
fleck phlegm
fluke flume
folk foam 
forecast foremast
  forecasts foremasts
fork form
  forking forming
  forks forms
frock from
hack ham
  hacking hamming
  hacks hams
hark harm
  harking harming
  harks harms
hawk haulm 
  hawks haulms
heck hem
hick him
jack jam
  jacks jams
  jacking jamming
jackpot jampot
  jackpots jampots
jerk germ 
  jerks germs
K May
  K's Mays
K's maize
kail mail
kail male
Kaiser miser
  Kaisers misers
Kate mate
Katie matey
keen mean
  keener meaner
  keenest meanest
  keening meaning
  keens means
  keenness meanness
keg Meg 
Keith Meath
ken men
kenned mend
Kenny many
Kent meant
Kerry merry
kettle metal
  kettles metals
key me
kick Mick 
kicks mix
kiddy middy
  kiddies middies
kill mill
  killed milled
  killing milling
  kills mills
killer miller
  killers millers
kilt milt
kind mind
  kinds minds
kinder minder
kine mine
kink mink
  kinks minks
kirk murk
kirtle myrtle
  kirtles myrtles
kiss miss 
  kissed missed
  kisses misses 
  kissing missing
kite might
kite mite
  kites mites
kitten mitten
  kittens mittens
Korea Maria
lack lam
  lacking lamming
  lacks lams
  lacked lammed
lack lamb
  lacking lambing
  lacks lambs
  lacked lambed
lake lame
  lakes lames
lick lim 
  licking limning
  licks lims
lick limb
  licks limbs  
like lime
  liking liming
  likes limes
  liked limed
lucky lumme
mac ma'am 
make maim 
  making maiming 
  makes maims
mike mime
  mikes mimes
muck mum
mucky mummy
Newark Newham
oak ohm
  oaks ohms
optical optimal
pack Pam 
park palm 
  parking palming 
  parks palms
  parked palmed
parka Parma 
parka palmer
  parkas palmers 
parky palmy 
perk perm
  perking perming
  perks perms	 
  perked permed
pluck plum 
  plucks plums
pluck plumb
  plucking plumbing
  plucks plumbs
  plucked plumbed
plucky plummy
  pluckier plummier
  pluckiest plummiest
pock pom
prick prim
pricker primmer
prickly primly
Q mew
  Q's mews
quark qualm 
  quarks qualms
queue mew
  queued mewed 
  queueing mewing 
  queues mews
rack ram
  racking ramming
  racks rams
  racked rammed
recourse remorse
reek ream 		 
  reeks reams
Reich rhyme
rick rim
  ricking rimming
  ricked rimmed
  ricks rims
roc rhomb 
rock rhomb
  rocks rhombs
ruck rum
  rucks rums
sac Sam 
safety-catch safety-match
  safety-catches safety-matches
sake same
scattering smattering
scut smut
  scuts smuts
seek seam 
  seeking seaming 
  seeks seams
seek seem
  seeks seems
  seeking seeming  
shack sham
  shacking shamming
  shacks shams
  shacked shammed
shake shame
  shaking shaming
  shakes shames
sheikh shame
  sheikhs shames  
slack slam
  slacking slamming
  slacks slams
  slacked slammed
slick slim
  slicker slimmer
  slickest slimmest
stalk storm
  stalking storming
  stalked stormed
  stalks storms
stork storm
  storking storming
  storked stormed
  storks storms
streak stream
  streaking streaming
  streaks streams
  streaked streamed
struck strum
succour summer
  succoured summered
  succouring summering
  succours summers
suck some 	  
suck sum
  sucking summing
  sucks sums
  sucked summed
sucker summer
  suckers summers
supplicant supplement 
  supplicants supplements 
tacky tammy
take tame
  taking taming
  takes tames
take Thame 
taker tamer
  takers tamers
teak team
tike thyme 
tike time
  tikes times
toque tome 
  toques tomes
track tram	
  tracks trams
trick trim
  tricking trimming
  tricked trimmed
  tricks trims
Turk term
Vic vim
walk warm
  walking warming
  walks warms
  walked warmed
walker warmer
  walkers warmers
wick whim 
woodwork woodworm
work worm
  working worming
  worked wormed
  works worms
yak yam			  
  yaks yams

John Higgins, Shaftesbury, May 2010.