Vowels 10 and 16, /ʌ/ versus /əʊ/     205 pairs       [dumbdome.html]

The /ʌ/ vowel is spelled with <u>, <o> in colour and come, and with <oo> in blood. The /əʊ/ vowel is spelled <oCe>, <ow> or <oa>, and appears in the letter name O. Notice the homograph does.

This is a contrast between a short vowel and a diphthong with a similar starting position but distinguished by lip-rounding. It does not seem to be a problem for many learners.

There is a taboo word pair in fuck/folk.

Interesting pairs include:

muddle modal
mutter motor
suffer sofa

The density figure is 3.2%. The set makes 104 semantic contrasts giving a loading of 50.7%.

blood blowed
bud bode 
  budded boded 
  budding boding 
  buds bodes
buggy bogey 
  buggies bogeys 
bun bone 
  buns bones
bunny bony 
bused boast 
bust boast
  busted boasted 
  busting boasting 
  busts boasts 
buster boaster 
  busters boasters 
but boat
butt boat
  butted boated 
  butting boating 
  butts boats 
butter boater 
  butters boaters 
buzz beaux 
buzz bows
chuck choke 
  chucked choked 
  chucking choking 
  chucks chokes 
chukker choker 
  chukkers chokers 
cluck cloak 
  clucked cloaked 
  clucking cloaking 
  clucks cloaks 
colours colas 
come comb 
  comes combs 
  coming combing
comer coma
  comers comas 
coming coaming 
  comings coamings 
Corunna corona
crumb chrome 
crux croaks 
cud code 
cull coal 
  culled coaled 
  culling coaling 
  culls coals 
cult colt 
  cults colts 
cunning coning 
cup cope 
  cupped coped 
  cupping coping 
  cups copes 
cut coat 
  cuts coats 
  cutting coating 
  cuttings coatings 
does does
dost dosed 
drug drogue 
  drugs drogues 
dull dole 
  dulled doled 
  dulling doling 
  dulls doles 
dumb dome 
flood flowed
fuck folk 
  fucks folks 
fuggy fogey 
fun phone
fund phoned
funny phoney
fuzz foes 
glut gloat 
  gluts gloats 
  glutted gloated 
  glutting gloating 
gull goal 
  gulls goals 
gulled gold 
gully goalie 
  gullies goalies 
gush gauche 
gust ghost
  gusts ghosts 
gut goat 
  guts goats 
hull hole 
  hulled holed 
  hulling holing 
  hulls holes    
hull whole
  hulls wholes 
hulled hold  
hum home 
  humming homing 
  hums homes 
Hun hone
  Huns hones
loves loaves 
luff loaf 
  luffed loafed 
  luffing loafing 
  luffs loafs 
lumme loamy 
muck moke 
  mucks mokes 
mud mode 
  muds modes 
muddle modal  
  muddles modals
mull mole 
  mulls moles 
mullah molar
  mullahs molars 
mulled mould
mussed most 
mutt moat 
  mutts moats
mutter motor 
  muttered motored 
  muttering motoring 
  mutters motors 
muzzy mosey 
none known 
null knoll 
numb gnome 
  numbs gnomes  
nun known
nut note 
  nuts notes 
  nutted noted 
  nutting noting 
puck poke 
  pucks pokes 
pucker poker 
  puckers pokers 
pun pone 
  puns pones 
pup Pope 
  pups Popes 
rub robe 
  rubbed robed 
  rubbing robing 
  rubs robes 
rug rogue 
  rugs rogues 
rum roam
  rums roams
run roan 
  runs roans
rust roast
  rusted roasted 
  rusting roasting 
  rusts roasts 
rut rote 
sculled scold 
smut smote 
son sown
spud Spode 
struck stroke 
stuck stoke 
stud stowed 
stun stone 
  stunned stoned 
  stunning stoning 
  stuns stones 
succour soaker 
  succours soakers 
suck soak 
  sucked soaked 
  sucking soaking 
  sucks soaks 
sucker soaker
  suckers soakers
suffer sofa
  suffers sofas 
sully solely 
sup soap 
  supped soaped 
  supping soaping 
  sups soaps 
ton tone
  tons tones
tubby Toby 
tuck toque 
  tucks toques 
tun tone
  tuns tones
tunnel tonal 
tunny Tony 
tup tope 
  tups topes 
tut tote 
  tutted toted 
  tutting toting 
undercut undercoat 
us O's 

John Higgins, Shaftesbury, December 2009