Consonants /g/ versus /ʃ/, 155 pairs     [gutshut.html]

The spelling of /g/ is <g> or <gg>, but we also see <gh> in ghee and <gu> in league . The /ʃ/ sound is spelled <sh> or <ch> in the loan words chaise and chauffeur.

This is a contrast between a voiced stop and a voiceless fricative, well separated in the mouth. It does not cause any problems.

The only taboo word pairs are gag/shag and gat/shat.

Interesting pairs include:

gassy chassis
godown showdown
lugger lusher

The figure for the mean density is 2.6%. The set makes 89 semantic contrasts, a loading of 57%.

Aggie ashy
bag bash
  bagging bashing
  bagged bashed
bog Boche 
brag brash
clog cloche 
cog cosh
crag crash
dig dish
  digging dishing
fig fish
figure fisher
  figures fishers
flag flash
  flagging flashing
gateau chateau 
  gateaus chateaux 
gad shad
Gael shale
gale shale
gag gash
  gagging gashing
gag shag
  gagged shagged
  gagging gashing
  gags shags
gal shall
gallows shallows
gamble shamble
  gambled shambled
  gambles shambles
  gambling shambling
game shame
  gamed shamed
  games shames
  gaming shaming
gammy shammy
gape shape
  gaped shaped
  gapes shapes
  gaping shaping
gassy chassis 
gat shat
gaud shored
Gaul shawl
  Gauls shawls
gauze shores
gave shave
gays chaise 
gaze chaise
  gazes chaises 
gear shear
  geared sheared
  gearing shearing
  gears shears
geld shelled
Gertie shirty
ghat short
  ghats shorts
ghee she
gift shift
  gifted shifted
  gifting shifting
  gifts shifts
giver shiver
  givers shivers
go show
goad showed
goal shoal
  goals shoals
god shod
godown showdown
  godowns showdowns
goes shews
going shewing
goings showings
gold shoaled
goo shoe
gopher chauffeur 
  gophers chauffeurs 
gore shore
  goring shoring
  gored shored
  gores shores
got shot
gout shout
Greek shriek
  Greeks shrieks
grew shrew
grill shrill
  grilled shrilled
  grills shrills
  grilling shrilling
grind shrined
grove shrove
grub shrub
  grubs shrubs
guard shard
  guards shards
guide shied
gun shun 
  gunned shunned
  gunning shunning
  guns shuns
Gurkha shirker
  Gurkhas shirkers
gut shut
  guts shuts
  gutting shutting
gutter shutter
  guttered shuttered
  guttering shuttering
  gutters shutters
guy shy
  guyed shied
  guying shying
  guys shies
hag hash
hug hush
  hugging hushing
  hugged hushed
Josh jog
lag lash
  lagged lashed
  lagging lashing
league leash
lug lush
lugger lusher
mag mash
Meg mesh
mug mush
muggy mushy
  muggier mushier
  muggiest mushiest
nag gnash
  nagging gnashing 
plug plush
rag rash
rug rush
sag sash
slag slash
slog slosh
  slogging sloshing
  slogged sloshed
slug slush
stag stash
swig swish
  swigging swishing
  swigged swished
tog tosh
Whig wish			 
wig wish
  wigged wished
  wigging wishing

John Higgins, Shaftesbury, October 2010.