The spelling of /b/ is always <b> or <bb>. The /l/ sound is <l> or <ll>. The homograph bass enters pairs with lace and lass. Similarly lead enters pairs with bead and bed.
The contrast is between a plosive and a lateral continuant, both voiced but widely separated in the mouth. Confusions are not likely.
One taboo word pair is bugger/lugger.
Interesting pairs include:
The mean density value is 2.3%. The list makes 219 semantic distinctions, a loading of 53%.
aback alack abbey Ali abbey alley abbeys alleys Abe ail Abe ale abide allied Abo aloe Abos aloes B lea B lee baa la baa'd lard babe bail babes bails babe bale babes bales babel label babels labels baby bailey babies baileys baboon balloon baboons balloons Babs labs baccy lackey back lack backed lacked backing lacking backs lacks backer lacquer backers lacquers bad lad bade lad bag lag bagged lagged bagging lagging bags lags bait late baize lays baize laze bake lake bakes lakes band land banded landed banding landing bands lands bandsman landsman bane lain bane lane banes lanes Bangor languor bank lank banned land bannock Lanark bar la bard lard bare lair bares lairs bared laird bark lakh barks lakhs bark lark barked larked barking larking barks larks barn Larne barred lard Barry Larry base lace based laced bases laces basing lacing bashes lashes bashing lashing bass lace basses laces bass lass bat lat batch latch batches latches bate late bath lath bathe lathe bathes lathes batter latter bawd laud bawds lauds bawd lord bawds lords bay lay baying laying bays lays bays laze bayed lade be lea be lee bead lead beads leads beading leading beads Leeds beagle legal beak Leek beaks leaks bear lair bears lairs beard leered beast leased beau low beaux lows beaver lever beavered levered beavering levering beavers levers bed lead bedded leaded bedding leading beds leads bee lea bees leas bee lee beef leaf beeves leaves beefy leafy beefier leafier beefiest leafiest beep leap beeps leaps beer leer beers leers beg leg begging legging begs legs begged legged ben Len bend lend bending lending bends lends bent lent Benny Lenny bens lens Bern learn Bess less best lest bet let bets lets betting letting better letter bettered lettered bettering lettering betters letters bevel level bevelled levelled bevelling levelling bevels levels bevy levee bevies levees Bewdley lewdly bey lay beys lays beys laze bib bill bibbed billed bibbing billing bibs bills Bible libel Bibles libels bicker liquor bickers liquors bid lid bids lids bide lied bier leer biers leers bight light bights lights bike like biked liked bikes likes biking liking bile lisle billy lily billies lilies bind lined bine line bines lines bingo lingo birch lurch birched lurched birches lurches birching lurching bite light bites lights biting lighting biz Liz boar law boars laws boar lor boar lore board laud boards lauds boarded lauded boarding lauding board lord boards lords boarding lording boarded lorded bob lob bobbed lobbed bobbing lobbing bobs lobs bobby lobby bobbies lobbies bode load boded loaded bodes loads boding loading bode lode Boer lower Boers lowers bog log bogged logged bogging logging bogs logs bone loan boned loaned bones loans boning loaning bone lone boo lieu boo loo boos loos boos lose boob buhl book look booked looked booking looking books looks boom loom boomed loomed booming looming booms looms boon loon boons loons boor lure boors lures boost loosed boot loot booted looted booting looting boots loots booze lose boozes loses boozing losing boozer loser boozers losers bore law bores laws bore lor bore lore boss loss bosses losses bossed lost both loath Bourne lawn bout lout bouts louts bow low bows lows bowing lowing bowed loud bower lour bowers lours box lochs buck luck Buckie lucky bucks luxe buff luff buffed luffed buffing luffing buffs luffs bug lug bugged lugged bugging lugging bugs lugs bugger lugger buggers luggers built lilt bump lump bumped lumped bumping lumping bumps lumps bumpy lumpy bumpier lumpier bumpiest lumpiest bunch lunch bunched lunched bunches lunches bunching lunching bung lung burke lurk burked lurked burkes lurks burking lurking burn learn burned learned burning learning burns learns burnt learnt burner learner burners learners bused lust bust lust busted lusted busting lusting busts lusts buster lustre busy Lizzy buy lie buying lying buys lies buyer liar buyers liars by lie bye lie byes lies cob col cobs cols cobber choler cobbers cholers Cobham column coloured cupboard Crosby crossly cub cull cubs culls curb curl curbed curled curbing curling curbs curls deb dell debs dells Debbie Delhi dub dull dubbed dulled dubbing dulling dubs dulls ebb L ebbs L's Feb fell fib fill fibbing filling fibs fills fibbed filled gab gal gibes Giles headband headland headbands headlands herb hurl herbs hurls hobby holly hub hull hubs hulls ibex ilex ibexes ilexes jib gill jibs gills kebab cabal kebabs cabals Kirkby curly Libyan Lilian lob loll lobbed lolled lobbing lolling lobs lolls lobby lolly lobbies lollies matchbox matchlocks mob moll mobs molls nib nil nub null obey allay obeyed allayed obeying allaying obeys allays orb all orb awl orbs awls outboard outlawed overboard overlord probe prole probes proles robe rôle robes rôles robe roll robed rolled robes rolls robing rolling rabid rallied rebind relined rib rill ribs rills sabot sallow sabots sallows sabre sailor sabres sailors sob Sol sober solar tabby tally tabbies tallies tabor tailor tabors tailors tube tulle waistband wasteland waistbands wastelands web well webs wells webbed welled webbed weld webbing welling
John Higgins, Shaftesbury, January 2011.