Consonants /z/ versus /m/, 186 pairs     [zoomoo.html]

The /z/ sound is spelled with <z>, <s> or <se>. The /m/ sound is spelled with <m>, <mm>, or <mb> in dumb. Many of the pairs arise from contrasting a word ending in -m with a plural or 3rd-person -s. Notice how the homograph does makes pairs with dome and dumb.

This is a contrast between an alveolar sibilant fricative and a bilabial nasal continuant. It is not a problem.

One mildly taboo word pair is buzz/bum.

Interesting pairs include:

borders boredom
bunkers bunkum
position permission
sisters system

The mean density value is 1.1%. The list makes 146 semantic distinctions, a loading of 78%.

adders Adam 
anthers anthem 
A's aim
as am 
baas balm
balsas balsam 
banters bantam 
blaze blame 
  blazed blamed 
  blazing blaming 
blues bloom 
boos boom 
booze boom
  boozed boomed 
  boozing booming 
borders boredom
breeze bream 
brewers brougham
brews broom
B's beam
bees beam
bunkers bunkum 
buzz bum 
  buzzed bummed 
  buzzing bumming 
cars calm 
cause corm
chars charm 
chatters Chatham 
cholers column
cobbers Cobham 
confers confirm
cookers Cookham 
cores corm
cries crime
crows chrome 
C's seam
C's seem
days dame 
daze dame
dies dime
dodgers dodgem 
does dome
does dumb
do's doom	   
doze dome
  dozed domed 
D's deem
fez fem 
fills film
firs firm 
flays flame 
flues flume
foes foam 
fours form 
frays frame 
fuse fume 
  fused fumed 
  fusing fuming 
gays game 
gaze game
  gazed gamed 
  gazing gaming 
glees gleam 
glues gloom 
gnaws norm
grisly grimly 
has ham 
haws haulm 
hazard hammered 
hells helm
his him 
hoes home
hosing homing 
infers infirm
I's I'm 
jazz jam 
jazzed jammed 
jazzing jamming 
knows gnome 
K's came
laser lamer 
lays lame 
lazed lamed 
lazing laming 
lies lime
lingers lingam 
Liz Lymm
loos loom 
losing looming 
lows loam 
L's elm
Mays maim
mazed maimed 
millers Millom 
muzzy mummy 
neighs name 
O's ohm
overs ovum
parrs palm 
parse palm
  parsed palmed 
  parsing palming 
phase fame 
  phased famed 
phrase frame
  phrased framed 
  phrasing framing 
position permission 
pries prime
prise prime
  prised primed 
  prising priming 
purrs perm 
puzzle pommel 
  puzzled pommelled 
  puzzles pommels 
rectors rectum
resigned remind 
resource remorse 
  resourceful remorseful 
  resourcefully remorsefully 
rise rhyme 
  rising rhyming 
rose Rome 
rose roam
R's arm
rues rheum 
ruse rheum
screes scream 
seas seam
seas seem
sees seam
sees seem
seize seam
  seized seamed 
  seizing seaming 
seize seem
  seized seemed 
  seizing seeming 
sisters system
spews spume
spurs sperm 
stores storm
Swazi swami
  Swazis swamis
swiz swim 
teas team
teas teem
tease team
  teased teamed 
  teasing teaming 
tease teem
  teased teemed 
  teasing teeming 
thatchers Thatcham 
ties thyme 
ties time
tizzy Timmy 
toes tome
Tsar mar
  Tsars mars 
twos tomb 
viz vim 
wars warm 
whirrs worm
whiz whim 
whores haulm 
whose whom
woos womb 
Z Med 
zap map 
  zapped mapped 
  zapping mapping 
  zaps maps 
zee me 
Zen men
zest messed 
zinc mink 
zone moan 
  zoned moaned 
  zones moans 
  zoning moaning 
zoo moo 
  zoos moos
zoos zoom

John Higgins, Shaftesbury, November 2010.