Consonants /t/ versus /h/, 274 pairs     [taghag.html]

The contrast only occurs in syllable-initial position. Therefore the spelling of /t/ is <t>, or <th> in Thai. The /h/ sound is <h> or <wh> in who. Notice how the homograph tear makes pairs with hair and hear.

The contrast is between a plosive and a fricative, both voiceless and well separated in the mouth. Although the /h/ sound itself is difficult for some speakers, the contrast is not a problem for learners.

The only mildly taboo word pair is turd/heard.

This contrast is exploited by the name of a chain of fashion stores: Top Shop. Other interesting pairs include:

tankard hankered
tawse whores
terraces heresies
tinder hinder
tubby hubby
tumbler humbler

The mean density value is 1.7%. The list makes 140 semantic distinctions, a loading of 51%.

entail inhale
  entailed inhaled
  entailing inhaling
  entails inhales
T he
  T's he's
ta ha 
tack hack 
  tacked hacked 
  tacking hacking 
  tacks hacks 
tackles hackles 
tag hag 
  tags hags 
tail hail 
  tailed hailed 
  tailing hailing 
  tails hails 
tail hale
take hake 
tale hail 
  tales hails 
tale hale
talk hawk 
  talked hawked 
  talking hawking 
  talks hawks 
talker hawker 
  talkers hawkers 
tall hall 
tallow hallow 
tally Halle 
tamper hamper 
  tampered hampered 
  tampering hampering 
  tampers hampers 
tangs hangs 
tank hank 
  tanks hanks 
tankard hankered 
tanker hanker 
  tankers hankers 
tap hap 
  tapped happed 
  tapping happing 
  taps haps 
tar ha
tardy hardy 
  tardier hardier 
  tardiest hardiest 
  tardiness hardiness 
tare hair
  tares hairs 	 
tare hare
  tares hares  
tare Herr 
tarred hard 
tarry harry 
  tarried harried 
  tarries harries 
  tarrying harrying 
tart hart 
  tarts harts
tart heart
  tarts hearts 
  tarted hearted 
tartan hearten 
  tartans heartens 
tartly Hartley 
tassel hassle 
  tasseled hassled 
  tassels hassles 
taste haste 
tasty hasty 
  tastier hastier 
  tastiest hastiest 
  tastily hastily 
tat hat 
  tats hats 
tatter hatter 
  tatters hatters 
taunt haunt 
  taunted haunted 
  taunting haunting 
  taunts haunts 
tawny horny 
tawse haws 	   
tawse whores
tea he
tear hair
  tears hairs 
tear hare
  tears hares
  teraing haring
tear Herr 
tear hear 
  tears hears 
tech heck
  techs hecks 
Ted head
  Teds heads	 
Teddy heady
tee he
teeter heater 
  teeters heaters 
teeth heath 
tell hell 
  tells hells 
temp hemp 
ten hen 
  tens hens 
tense hence 
tern Herne 
terraces heresies 
terrific horrific 
terse hearse 
tether heather 
  tethers heathers 
Thai hi
  Thais hies
Thai high
Thailand highland
tick hick
  ticks hicks 
tide hide 
  tides hides 
tiding hiding 
  tidings hidings 
tie hi
tie hie
  ties hies 
  tying hieing 
tie high  
tie-up high-up 
  tie-ups high-ups 
tight height 
  tights heights 
tighten heighten 
  tightened heightened 
  tightening heightening 
  tightens heightens 
tike hike 
  tikes hikes 
tilde Hilda 
till hill
  tills hills 
tilt hilt 
  tilts hilts 
Tim him
tinder hinder 
tined hind 
tinge hinge 
  tinged hinged 
  tinges hinges 
  tingeing hingeing 
tint hint 
  tinted hinted 
  tinting hinting 
  tints hints 
tip hip 
  tips hips 
tire higher 
tire hire
  tired hired 
  tires hires 
  tiring hiring 
to Hoo 
to who
toad hoed 
toast host 
  toasted hosted 
  toasting hosting 
  toasts hosts 
toe ho 
toe hoe
  toeing hoeing 
  toes hoes 
  toed hoed
tog hog 
  togged hogged 
  togging hogging 
  togs hogs 
told hold 
told holed
toll hole 
  tolling holing 
  tolls holes 
  tolled holed
tolled hold  
tomb whom
tome home 
  tomes homes 
tone hone 
  toned honed 
  tones hones 
  toning honing 
too Hoo
too who
took hook 
tool who'll
toot hoot 
  tooted hooted 
  tooting hooting 
  toots hoots 
top hop 
  topped hopped 
  tops hops 
  topping hopping 
tope hope 
  toping hoping 
  toped hoped 
  topes hopes 
topper hopper 
  toppers hoppers 
toques hoax 
tor hoar 
  tors hoars
tor whore
  tors whores  
torn horn 
torrid horrid 
Tory hoary
tot hot 
  tots hots 
  totted hotted 
  totting hotting 
totter hotter 
touch hutch
  touches hutches 
tough huff 
  toughs huffs 
toughie huffy 
tow hoe
  tows hoes
  towed hoed
  towing hoeing
towered Howard 
tub hub 
  tubs hubs 
tubby hubby 
tuft huffed 
tug hug 
  tugged hugged 
  tugging hugging 
  tugs hugs 
tumble humble 
  tumbled humbled 
  tumbles humbles 
  tumbling humbling 
tumbler humbler 
tumid humid 
  tumidity humidity 
tumour humour 
  tumours humours 
tune hewn 
tunny honey 
  tunnies honeys 
turbot Herbert 
turd heard 
  turds herds 
turn Herne
turtle hurtle 
  turtles hurtles 
tusk husk 
  tusks husks 
tussle hustle 
  tussled hustled 
  tussles hustles 
  tussling hustling 
tut hut 
  tutted hutted 
two Hoo
two who
  twos whose

John Higgins, Shaftesbury, February 2010.