Consonants /f/ versus /ʃ/, 147 pairs     [fopshop.html]

The /f/ sound is spelled with <f> or <ff>, and exceptionally <gh> in cough and rough. The /ʃ/ sound is spelled <sh> or occasionally <sch>.

The contrast is between a labio-dental fricative and a palato-alveolar fricative, both voiceless. It is not usually a problem.

Taboo word pairs include fag/shag, fat/shat, fit/shit and fuck/shuck.

Interesting pairs include:

café cachet
fatter shatter
fifty shifty
folder shoulder
swift swished

The mean density value is 2%. The list makes 82 semantic distinctions, a loading of 56%.

afore ashore
bluff blush
  bluffed blushed
  bluffing blushing
café cachet 
  cafés cachets 
caff cache 
coffees coshes
cough cosh 
  coughed coshed 
  coughing coshing 
fa shah
fact shacked
fad shad
fade shade
  faded shaded
  fades shades
  fading shading
fag shag
  fagged shagged
  fagging shagging
  fags shags
fail shale
fair share
  fairs shares
fake shake
  fakes shakes
  faking shaking
fakir shakier
fall shawl
  falls shawls
fallow shallow
fame shame
  famed shamed
famous Seamus 	  
far shah
fare share
  fared shared
  fares shares
  faring sharing
fat shat
fatter shatter
faugh shore
faun Sean 
faun shorn
favour shaver
  favours shavers
fawn Sean 
fawn shorn
fear shear
  feared sheared
  fearing shearing
  fears shears
fed shed
fee she
fell shell
  felled shelled
  felling shelling
  fells shells
ferry sherry
  ferries sherries
fie shy
field shield
  fielded shielded
  fielding shielding
  fields shields
fifty shifty
filling shilling
  fillings shillings
fine shine
  fines shines
  fining shining
fin shin
 fins shins
Finn shin
  Finns shins
fire shire
  fires shires
fish shish
fist schist
  fists schists
fit shit
  fitted shitted
fluff flush
  fluffed flushed
  fluffing flushing
foal shoal
  foaled shoaled
  foaling shoaling
  foals shoals
foe show
  foes shows
folder shoulder
  folders shoulders
food shooed
fop shop
  fops shops
for shore
fore shore
four shore
  fours shores
ford shored
fox shocks
frank shrank
freak shriek
  freaked shrieked
  freaking shrieking
  freaks shrieks
Fred shred
frill shrill
  frilled shrilled
  frills shrills
frilly shrilly
frivol shrivel
  frivolled shrivelled
  frivolling shrivelling
  frivols shrivels
fuck shuck
  fucked shucked
  fucking shucking
  fucks shucks 
fun shun 
fund shunned
gaff gash
half harsh
huff hush
  huffed hushed
  huffing hushing
leaf leash
luff lush
muff mush
phase chaise 
  phases chaises 
phone shown
phut shut
quaff quash
  quaffed quashed
  quaffing quashing
rough rush
  roughed rushed
  roughing rushing
slough slush
swift swished
toff tosh
toffees toshes
waft washed
whiff wish

John Higgins, Shaftesbury, October 2010.