Consonants /m/ versus /n/, 425 pairs     [magnag.html]

The /m/ sound is spelled with <m> or <mm>. The /n/ sound is spelled with <n>, <nn> or <gn> in gnash.

This is a contrast between two voiced nasal continuants, one bilabial and one alveolar. It may be an occasional problem, especially when final in the syllable.

Interesting pairs include:

acme acne
immobility inability
maples Naples
mighty nightie
morpheme morphine
seamier senior
system cistern

The mean density value is 2.1%. The lists make 244 semantic distinctions, a loading of 57%.

acme acne
alum Allan 
am Ann 
balm barn
  balms barns
beam bean
  beams beans
  beamed beaned 
  beaming beaning
Belgium Belgian 
bombed bond
bomb Bonn 
boom boon
  booms boons
boredom Bordon 
bum bun
  bums buns
calm khan
  calms khans
calm Calne 
cam can
  cams cans
chime chine
  chimes chines
chrome crone
clam clan
  clams clans
coaming coning
comb cone
  combing coning
  combed coned
  combs cones
comic conic
  comical conical
coming cunning
contemned contend
corm corn
  corms corns
Cromer kroner
dam Dan 
damn Dan
dame Dane 
  dames Danes 
dame deign
  dames deigns
deem dean 
  deems deans 
demise denies
dim din
  dims dins
  dimming dinning
  dimmed dinned
dime dine
  dimes dines
dimmer dinner
  dimmers dinners
dumb done 
dumb dun
Elysium Elysian 
'em 'un
fame fain 
fame feign
  famed feigned
  fames feigns
form faun 
  forms fauns 
form fawn  
  forms fawns
  formed fawned 
  forming fawning 
fem fen
firm fern 
  firms ferns 
foam phone
  foamed phoned
  foaming phoning
  foams phones
foamy phoney
game gain 
  gamed gained 
  gaming gaining 
  games gains 
gem gen
  gemmed genned
  gems gens
gym gin
  gyms gins 
gleam glean
  gleamed gleaned
  gleaming gleaning
  gleams gleans
gnome known 
grim grin
grimed grind
gum gun
  gummed gunned
  gumming gunning
  gums guns
gummy gunny
hammed hand
haulm horn
hem hen
  hems hens
home hone
  homes hones
  homing honing
hum Hun 
  hums Huns 
immobility inability
immure inure
  immured inured
  immures inures
  immuring inuring
jam Jan 
jemmy jenny 
  jemmies jennies
Jim djinn
Jim gin
lame lain
lame lane
  lames lanes
lambed land
lemur leaner
Leominster Leinster
lime line
  limed lined
  limes lines
  liming lining
limit linnet
  limits linnets
loam loan
loom loon
  looms loons
Lymm Lynn
  M's N's
mac knack
  macs knacks
ma'am man
made neighed
mag nag
  mags nags
maid neighed
mail nail
  mailed nailed
  mailing nailing
  mails nails
maim name
  maimed named
  maiming naming
  maims mains
maim main
maker nacre
male nail
  males nails
map knap
  mapped knapped
  mapping knapping
  maps knaps
map nap
  mapped napped
  mapping napping
  maps naps
maples Naples
mare ne'er
mark nark
  marks narks
  marked narked
  marking narking
marrow narrow
  marrows narrows
mash gnash 
  mashed gnashed 
  mashing gnashing
  mashes gnashes 
Matt gnat
mat gnat
  mats gnats
matter natter
  mattered nattered
  mattering nattering
  matters natters
Maud gnawed
maw gnaw 
  maws gnaws 
maw nor
max knacks
may née
may neigh
Mays neighs
mead knead
  meads kneads
mead need
  meads needs
me knee
meal kneel
  meals kneels
meal Neil
meat neat
Meath 'neath
Med Ned
medium median 
  mediums medians 
meet neat
melt knelt
mercies nurses
mere near
  meres nears
merely nearly
mess ness
  messes nesses
messed nest
met net
metal nettle
  metalled nettled
  metals nettles
meter neater
mew knew
mew new
  mews news
mewed nude
mice nice
Mick Nick
mickle nickel
might knight
might night
mighty nightie
mill nil
mime mine
  mimes mines
  miming mining
  mimed mined
mimed mind  
mine nine
  mines nines
mire nigher
mite knight
  mites knights
mite night
  mites nights
mitre nitre
mix nicks
mo know
mo no
moan known
moat note
  moated noted
  moats notes
mob knob
  mobs knobs
mobility nobility
mock knock
  mocked knocked
  mocking knocking
  mocks knocks
mocker knocker 
  mockers knockers 
Mod nod
  Mods nods
mode node
  modes nodes
model noddle
  models noddles
module nodule
  modules nodules
  modular nodular
mole knoll
  moles knolls
moo gnu 
  moos gnus 
moon noon
moose noose
  mooses nooses
mope nope
more nor
more gnaw
Mormon Norman
  Mormons Normans
morpheme morphine
Morse Norse
mosey nosey
moseys noses
motion notion
  motions notions
mouse nous
mow no
mow know
  mows knows
  mown known
  mowing knowing
mow now
muckle knuckle
mummy money 
  mummies monies 
mull null
  mulls nulls
mum numb
  mums numbs
mural neural
mute newt
  mutes newts
mutt nut
  mutts nuts
muzzle nuzzle
  muzzled nuzzled
  muzzles nuzzles
  muzzling nuzzling
my nigh
numb none
numb nun
  numbs nuns
oakum oaken 
ohm own
  ohms owns
Oldham olden
Pam pan
ram ran
rammed rand
rheum rune
rhyme Rhine
rhymed rind
roam roan
  roams roans
roam Rhone
Rome roan 
Rome Rhone
rhomb Ron
room rune
  rooms runes
rum run
  rums runs
rummer runner
rummy runny
same sane
seam scene
  seams scenes
scream screen
  screamed screened
  screaming screening
  screams screens
simmer sinner
  simmers sinners
simmered synod
skim skin
  skimmed skinned
  skimming skinning
  skims skins
smack snack
  smacks snacks
smear sneer
  smeared sneered
  smearing sneering
  smears sneers
smog snog
  smogs snogs
smug snug
  smugger snugger
  smuggest snuggest
  smugly snugly
smuggle snuggle
  smuggled snuggled
  smuggles snuggles
  smuggling snuggling
smugness snugness
seamier senior
some son
some sun
spam span
  spams spans
  spamming spanning
  spammed spanned
sperm spurn
  sperms spurns
Stamford Stanford
stem Sten 
  stems Stens
stemming Steyning 
sum son
  sums sons
sum sun	   
  sums suns
  summed sunned
  summing sunning
someday Sunday
swarm sworn
system cistern
  systems cisterns 
team teen
  teams teens
teem teen
  teems teens
term tern 
  terms terns
term turn
  termed turned
  terming turning
  terms turns
them then
thyme Tyne
thyme tine
time tine
  timed tined
  times tines
time Tyne  
tome tone
  tomes tones
trams trans
tum ton
  tums tons
tum tun	   
  tums tuns
tummy tunny
  tummies tunnies
tumour tuna
  tumours tunas
tumour tuner
  tumours tuners
warm warn
  warmed warned
  warming warning
  warms warns
whim win
  whims wins

John Higgins, Shaftesbury, December 2010.