Consonants /f/ versus /h/, 228 pairs     [findhind.html]

The /f/ sound is spelled with <f> or <ph> in phone. The /h/ sound is spelled <h>.

The contrast is between a labio-dental fricative and a glottal fricative, both voiceless. It is not usually a problem even though there is some acoustic similarity.

Taboo word pairs include fart/heart.

The contrast only occurs initially apart from in the compound words overfed/overhead. Other interesting pairs include:

farrier harrier
follow hollow
forehead horrid (using a rather archaic pronunciation of forehead)
funny honey

The mean density value is 3.7%. The list makes 119 semantic distinctions, a loading of 52%.

fa ha
faced haste
fact hacked
fad had
fairy hairy
fag hag
  fags hags
fail hail
  failed hailed
  failing hailing 
  fails hails
fair Herr 		 
fair hair
  fairs hairs
fair hare
  fairs hares
fake hake
fall hall
  falls halls
fall haul
  falling hauling
  falls hauls
fallow hallow
falter halter
  falters halters
fang hang
fanned hand
fare hair
  fares hairs
fare hare
  fared hared
  faring haring
  fares hares
farm harm
  farmed harmed
  farming harming
  farms harms
farrier harrier
  farriers harriers
farrow harrow
  farrowed harrowed
  farrowing harrowing
  farrows harrows
fart hart			 
  farts harts
fart heart
  farted hearted	 
  farts hearts
fat hat
  fats hats
fate hate
  fates hates
fatter hatter
faugh haw
faugh hoar
fault halt
  faulted halted
  faulting halting
  faults halts
faun horn
  fauns horns
fawn horn
  fawns horns  
  fawned horned
  fawning horning
favour haver
  favouring havering 
  favours havers
Fawley Horley
fear hear
  fearing hearing
  fears hears
feather heather 
fed head
fee he
feed heed
  feeding heeding
  feeds heeds
feeler healer
  feelers healers
feet heat
fell hell
  fells hells
felled held
felon Helen 
fem hem
fen hen
  fens hens
fence hence
fern Herne 
fête hate
  fêted hated
  fêting hating	
  fêtes hates
feud hewed
few Hugh 
fewer hewer
fey hay
fie hi
fie high
fight height
  fights heights
filly hilly
find hind
  finds hinds
fir her
  firs hers
fire higher
fire hire
  fired hired
  fires hires
  firing hiring
fist hissed
five hive
  fives hives
fix hicks
foal hole
  foaling holing
  foals holes
  foaled holed
foal whole
  foals wholes  
foaled hold
foam home
  foaming homing
  foams homes
  foamed homed
foamy homey
fob hob
  fobs hobs
foe ho
foe hoe
  foes hoes
fog hog
  fogged hogged
  fogging hogging
  fogs hogs
foist hoist
  foisted hoisted
  foisting hoisting
  foists hoists
fold hold
  folding holding
  folds holds
folder holder
  folders holders
folks hoax
follow holloa
follow hollow
  followed hollowed
  following hollowing
  follows holloas
folly holly
fop hop
  fops hops
for haw
fore haw
four haw
  fours haws
for hoar
fore hoar
four hoar
force hoarse
force horse
  forces horses
forcemeat horsemeat
ford hawed
ford hoard
  forded hoarded
  fording hoarding
  fords hoards
ford horde
  fords hordes
forehead horrid
fork hawk
  forked hawked
  forking hawking
  forks hawks
form haulm
forty haughty
foul howl
  fouled howled
  fouling howling
  fouls howls
fouler howler
found hound
  founded hounded
  founding hounding
  founds hounds
fowl howl
  fowls howls
fowler howler
  fowlers howlers
fox hocks
fuddle huddle
  fuddled huddled
  fuddles huddles
  fuddling huddling
fug hug
  fugs hugs
fumble humble
  fumbled humbled
  fumbles humbles
  fumbling humbling
fumbler humbler
fun Hun 
funk hunk
  funks hunks
funny honey
fur her
  furs hers
furl hurl
  furled hurled
  furling hurling
  furls hurls
fuse hews
fussy hussy
overfed overhead
phase haze 
  phased hazed 
  phases hazes 
  phasing hazing 
phone hone 
  phoned honed 
  phones hones 
  phoning honing 
phooey hooey 
phut hut 

John Higgins, Shaftesbury, October 2010.