Consonants /Ɵ/ versus /m/, 70 pairs     [thugmug.html]

The /Ɵ/ sound is spelled with <th>. The /m/ sound is spelled with <m>, <lm> or <mb>.

This is a contrast between a voiceless dental and alveolar fricative and a voiced nasal continuant. It is not a problem, although the sound /Ɵ/ is difficult for many learners.

Interesting pairs include:

nothing numbing
thistle missal

The mean density value is 0.9%. The list makes 51 semantic distinctions, a loading of 73%.

Arthur armour
bath balm 
Beith beam
Bertha Burma
Cath cam
doth dumb
faith fame
filth film 
filthy filmy 
  filthier filmier 
  filthiest filmiest 
firth  firm
  firths firms
forth form 
fourth form
  fourths forms
froth from 
hath ham 
health helm
hearth harm 
loath loam 
north norm 
nothing numbing 
oath ohm
path palm 
Perth perm
ruth rheum
ruth room
swath swarm 
teeth team 
thane Maine 
thane main
  thanes mains 
thanks Manx 
thatch match
  thatched matched 
  thatches matches 
  thatching matching 
thaw maw 
  thaws maws 
thawed Maud 
therm mirth 
thews mews 
thews muse
thigh my 
think mink 
  thinks minks 
thistle missal 
  thistles missals 
thole mole 
  tholes moles 
thorn morn
  thorns morns 
thorn mourn
  thorns mourns 
thud mud 
  thudded mudded 
  thudding mudding 
  thuds muds 
thug mug 
  thugs mugs 
thumb mum 
  thumbs mums 
thumps mumps 
tooth tomb 
withe whim 
worth worm 
wrath rhomb 
wroth Rome 
wroth roam

John Higgins, Shaftesbury, November 2010.