Consonants /z/ versus /ŋ/, 1143 pairs     [buzzbung.html]

The /z/ sound is spelled with <z>, <zz>, <s> or <se>. The /ŋ/ sound is spelled with <ng>.

This is a contrast between a sibilant alveolar fricative and a velar nasal continuant, both voiced. It is not a problem.

There is an echo of this pattern in the last two verses of the Christmas carol The Twelve Days of Christmas, which runs:
On the twelfth day of Christmas, 
my true love sent to me 
Twelve drummers drumming, 
Eleven pipers piping, 
Ten lords a-leaping, 
Nine ladies dancing, 
Eight maids a-milking, 
Seven swans a-swimming, 
Six geese a-laying, 
Five golden rings, 
Four calling birds, 
Three French hens, 
Two turtle doves, 
And a partridge in a pear tree! 		 

The mean density value is 8.2%. The list makes 1135 semantic distinctions, a loading of 99%.

Nearly all the pairs arise from the contrast between an -es or -ies plural or 3rd person inflection contrasted with the corresponding -ing form of a verb.The 102 pairs which do not are:

baileys bailing
bandies banding
basses basing 
batteries battering
bellies belling
billies billing
bobbies bobbing
bookies booking
brandies branding
buddies budding
buggies bugging
butteries buttering
buzz bung 
  buzzes buzzing
  buzzed bunged 
  buzzes bunging 
chillies chilling
chokeys choking
civvies sieving
coffees coughing
coneys coning
coolies cooling
cookies cooking
copies copping
counties counting
dairies daring
daisies dazing
Devizes devising
dhotis doting
does dung
doggies dogging
dollies dolling
dowries dowering 
duckies ducking
eyries airing
fairies faring
fannies fanning
fillies filling
flunkeys flunking
gullies gulling
harpies harping
has hang 
holies holing
huskies husking
jellies gelling 
jennies genning 
jetties jetting
kiddies kidding
kitties kitting
lackeys lacking
ladies lading
leeches leaching
limeys liming
lobbies lobbing
lollies lolling
meanies meaning
Mounties mounting
movies moving
Mrs missing
nappies knapping 
nighties knighting 
Paddies padding
panties panting
parties parting
peris peering 
phoneys phoning
pinnies pinning
pities pitting
poppies popping
pulleys pulling
puttees putting
queries queering 
readies Reading 
recces wrecking
rookies rooking
sauces sourcing
scissors singers
shammies shamming
sonnies sunning
sources saucing
spinneys spinning
storeys storing
stories storing
studies studding 
sulkies sulking
swiz swing 
talkies talking
tellies telling
tidies tiding
topis toping 
tourneys turning
treaties treating
tunnies tonning 
wadis wadding 
weeklies weakling 
whiz wing
  whizzed winged
  whizzes whizzing
  whizzing winging
willies willing
wretches retching
Yankees yanking

The remaining 1040 pairs are:

 	
abases abasing
abashes abashing
abolishes abolishing
about-faces about-facing
abridges abridging
abuses abusing
acclimatizes acclimatizing
accomplishes accomplishing
accuses accusing
acknowledges acknowledging
acquiesces acquiescing
addresses addressing
adduces adducing
adjudges adjudging
admixes admixing
admonishes admonishing
advances advancing
advantages advantaging
advertises advertising
advises advising
affiances affiancing
affixes affixing
affranchises affranchising
ages ageing 
aggrandizes aggrandizing
alleges alleging
amasses amassing
amazes amazing
ambushes ambushing
amortizes amortizing
amuses amusing
anaesthetizes anaesthetizing
analyses analysing
anathematizes anathematizing
anglicizes anglicizing
annexes annexing
announces announcing
antagonizes antagonizing
apologizes apologizing
apostrophizes apostrophizing
appeases appeasing
appraises appraising
apprentices apprenticing
apprises apprising
approaches approaching
arches arching
arises arising
armies arming
arouses arousing
arranges arranging
asperses aspersing
assemblies assembling
assesses assessing
assuages assuaging
astonishes astonishing
atomizes atomizing
attaches attaching
attitudinizes attitudinizing
authorizes authorizing
avenges avenging
averages averaging
avouches avouching
backspaces backspacing
balances balancing
bandages bandaging
banishes banishing
baptizes baptizing
barbarizes barbarizing
barges barging
bases basing
bashes bashing
bastardizes bastardizing
beaches beaching
beeswaxes beeswaxing
begrudges begrudging
belches belching
beseeches beseeching
besieges besieging
besmirches besmirching
bewitches bewitching
biases biasing
birches birching
bitches bitching
blanches blanching
blazes blazing
bleaches bleaching
blemishes blemishing
blenches blenching
blesses blessing
blitzes blitzing
blushes blushing
boobies boobing
boozes boozing
bosses bossing
botanizes botanizing
botches botching
bounces bouncing
bowdlerizes bowdlerizing
boxes boxing
braces bracing
brainwashes brainwashing
braises braising
branches branching
brandishes brandishing
breaches breaching
breezes breezing
bridges bridging
broaches broaching
bronzes bronzing
brownies browning
browses browsing
bruises bruising
brushes brushing
brutalizes brutalizing
budges budging
bulges bulging
bulldozes bulldozing
bunches bunching
burnishes burnishing
buses busing
buttresses buttressing
bypasses bypassing
caches caching
cadges cadging
cages caging
camouflages camouflaging
canalizes canalizing
cannibalizes cannibalizing
canonizes canonizing
canvases canvassing
capitalizes capitalizing
capsizes capsizing
carbonizes carbonizing
caresses caressing
carouses carousing
cases casing
cashes cashing
catches catching
catechizes catechizing
categorizes categorizing
causes causing
cauterizes cauterizing
ceases ceasing
centralizes centralizing
challenges challenging
chances chancing
changes changing
characterizes characterizing
charges charging
chases chasing
chastises chastising
cherishes cherishing
chooses choosing
choruses chorusing
circularizes circularizing
circumcises circumcising
civilizes civilizing
clashes clashing
classes classing
cleanses cleansing
clenches clenching
climaxes climaxing
clinches clinching
closes closing
clutches clutching
coaches coaching
coalesces coalescing
coaxes coaxing
coerces coercing
collapses collapsing
collectivizes collectivizing
colonizes colonizing
commences commencing
commercializes commercializing
committees committing
compartmentalizes compartmentalizing
compasses compassing
composes composing
compresses compressing
comprises comprising
compromises compromising
computerizes computerizing
concusses concussing
condenses condensing
conduces conducing
confesses confessing
confuses confusing
constitutionalizes constitutionalizing
contradistinguishes contradistinguishing
contuses contusing
convalesces convalescing
converges converging
converses conversing
convinces convincing
convulses convulsing
coshes coshing
couches couching
countenances countenancing
counterbalances counterbalancing
counterpoises counterpoising
courses coursing
coxes coxing
crashes crashing
creases creasing
cringes cringing
crisscrosses crisscrossing
criticizes criticizing
crosses crossing
cross-fertilizes cross-fertilizing
cross-indexes cross-indexing
crouches crouching
cruises cruising
crunches crunching
crushes crushing
crystallizes crystallizing
curses cursing
damages damaging
dances dancing
dashes dashing
dazes dazing
debases debasing
debauches debauching
debouches debouching
decarbonizes decarbonizing
deceases deceasing
decentralizes decentralizing
decimalizes decimalizing
declutches declutching
decolonizes decolonizing
decomposes decomposing
decompresses decompressing
decreases decreasing
deduces deducing
deep-freezes deep-freezing
defaces defacing
defuses defusing
degausses degaussing
dehumanizes dehumanizing
de-ices de-icing
deliveries delivering
delouses delousing
deluges deluging
demagnetizes demagnetizing
demilitarizes demilitarizing
demobilizes demobilizing
democratizes democratizing
demolishes demolishing
demonetizes demonetizing
demoralizes demoralizing
denationalizes denationalizing
denounces denouncing
deodorizes deodorizing
deposes deposing
depresses depressing
deputizes deputizing
deranges deranging
desalinizes desalinizing
desensitizes desensitizing
despatches despatching
despises despising
destinies destining
detaches detaching
detribalizes detribalizing	   
devises devising
devitalizes devitalizing
diagnoses diagnosing
dices dicing
diffuses diffusing
digresses digressing
diminishes diminishing
disabuses disabusing
disarranges disarranging
disburses disbursing
discharges discharging
discloses disclosing
discomposes discomposing
discountenances discountenancing
discourages discouraging
discourses discoursing
discoveries discovering
discusses discussing
disembarrasses disembarrassing
disenfranchises disenfranchising
disengages disengaging
disestablishes disestablishing
disfranchises disfranchising
disgorges disgorging
disgraces disgracing
disguises disguising
dishes dishing
dislodges dislodging
dismisses dismissing
disobliges disobliging
disorganizes disorganizing
disparages disparaging
dispenses dispensing
disperses dispersing
displaces displacing
displeases displeasing
disposes disposing
dispossesses dispossessing
distances distancing
distinguishes distinguishing
distresses distressing
ditches ditching
diverges diverging
divorces divorcing
divulges divulging
dodges dodging
dogmatizes dogmatizing
doses dosing
dosses dossing
double-crosses double-crossing
douses dousing
dozes dozing
dramatizes dramatizing
dredges dredging
drenches drenching
dresses dressing
drowses drowsing
drudges drudging
eases easing
eclipses eclipsing
economizes economizing
edges edging
educes educing
effaces effacing
effervesces effervescing
elapses elapsing
embarrasses embarrassing
embellishes embellishing
embosses embossing
embraces embracing
emerges emerging
emphasizes emphasizing
encases encasing
encloses enclosing
encompasses encompassing
encourages encouraging
encroaches encroaching
endorses endorsing
enforces enforcing
enfranchises enfranchising
engages engaging
engrosses engrossing
enhances enhancing
enlarges enlarging
enmeshes enmeshing
enquiries enquiring
enrages enraging
enriches enriching
ensconces ensconcing
enterprises enterprising
enthuses enthusing
entices enticing
entrances entrancing
entreaties entreating
entrenches entrenching
envisages envisaging
epitomizes epitomizing
equalizes equalizing
erases erasing
espouses espousing
establishes establishing
estranges estranging
etches etching
eulogizes eulogizing
evidences evidencing
evinces evincing
exchanges exchanging
excises excising
excuses excusing
exercises exercising
exorcizes exorcizing
experiences experiencing
expiries expiring
exposes exposing
expresses expressing
expunges expunging
extemporizes extemporizing
exteriorizes exteriorizing
externalizes externalizing
extinguishes extinguishing
faces facing
factorizes factorizing
familiarizes familiarizing
famishes famishing
fences fencing
fertilizes fertilizing
fetches fetching
filches filching
finalizes finalizing
finances financing
finishes finishing
fishes fishing
fixes fixing
fizzes fizzing
flashes flashing
flatteries flattering
fleeces fleecing
flexes flexing
flinches flinching
flounces flouncing
flourishes flourishing
flummoxes flummoxing
fluoridizes fluoridizing
flushes flushing
fly-fishes fly-fishing
focuses focusing
forages foraging
forces forcing
forecloses foreclosing
forges forging
formalizes formalizing
fossilizes fossilizing
foxes foxing
fraternizes fraternizing
freelances freelancing
freezes freezing
fringes fringing
frizzes frizzing
frogmarches frogmarching
furbishes furbishing
furnishes furnishing
fuses fusing
fusses fussing
gages gaging
galvanizes galvanizing
garages garaging
garnishes garnishing
gashes gashing
gasses gassing
gatecrashes gatecrashing
gazes gazing
generalizes generalizing
glamorizes glamorizing
glances glancing
glasses glassing
glazes glazing
glimpses glimpsing
glosses glossing
gnashes gnashing
gorges gorging
gormandizes gormandizing
gouges gouging
graces gracing
grasses grassing
grazes grazing
greases greasing
grimaces grimacing
grizzlies grizzling
grosses grossing
grouches grouching
grouses grousing
grudges grudging
guesses guessing
gushes gushing
harasses harassing
harmonizes harmonizing
harnesses harnessing
hashes hashing
hatches hatching
hazes hazing
hedges hedging
hemstitches hemstitching
hinges hinging
hisses hissing
hitches hitching
hoaxes hoaxing
homogenizes homogenizing
horseraces horseracing
hoses hosing
hospitalizes hospitalizing
houses housing
humanizes humanizing
hunches hunching
hushes hushing
hybridizes hybridizing
hypnotizes hypnotizing
ices icing
idealizes idealizing
idolizes idolizing
ill-uses ill-using
images imaging
immerses immersing
immobilizes immobilizing
immortalizes immortalizing
immunizes immunizing
impeaches impeaching
impinges impinging
imposes imposing
impoverishes impoverishing
impresses impressing
improvises improvising
incenses incensing
inches inching
incises incising
inconveniences inconveniencing
increases increasing
indexes indexing
individualizes individualizing
induces inducing
indulges indulging
influences influencing
infringes infringing
infuses infusing
injuries injuring
instances instancing
institutionalizes institutionalizing
interchanges interchanging
interlaces interlacing
intermixes intermixing
internalizes internalizing
internationalizes internationalizing
interposes interposing
intersperses interspersing
introduces introducing
invoices invoicing
ionizes ionizing
italicizes italicizing
itches itching
itemizes itemizing
jaundices jaundicing
jazzes jazzing
jeopardizes jeopardizing
judges judging
juxtaposes juxtaposing
kisses kissing
laces lacing
laicizes laicizing
lances lancing 
languishes languishing
lapses lapsing
lashes lashing
latches latching
Latinizes Latinizing
launches launching
lavishes lavishing
lazes lazing
leaches leaching
legalizes legalizing
legitimatizes legitimatizing
liaises liaising
liberalizes liberalizing
licences licencing
lionizes lionizing
liquidizes liquidizing
localizes localizing
lodges lodging
looses loosing
loses losing
lounges lounging
lunches lunching
lunges lunging
lurches lurching
lynches lynching
macadamizes macadamizing
magnetizes magnetizing
manages managing
Marches marching
mashes mashing
massages massaging
masses massing
mass-produces mass-producing
matches matching
materializes materializing
maximizes maximizing
mechanizes mechanizing
meddling medleys
memorializes memorializing
memorizes memorizing
menaces menacing
mercerizes mercerizing
merges merging
meshes meshing
mesmerizes mesmerizing
messes messing
metamorphoses metamorphosing
metricizes metricizing
minces mincing
miniaturizes miniaturizing
minimizes minimizing
misadvises misadvising
misjudges misjudging
mismanages mismanaging
misplaces misplacing
mispronounces mispronouncing
misses missing
misuses misusing
mixes mixing
mobilizes mobilizing
modernizes modernizing
monetizes monetizing
monopolizes monopolizing
mooches mooching
moralizes moralizing
mortgages mortgaging
mortices morticing
motorizes motorizing
mouses mousing
mulches mulching
munches munching
muses musing
musses mussing
nasalizes nasalizing
nationalizes nationalizing
naturalizes naturalizing
neutralizes neutralizing
noises noising
nonplusses nonplussing
nooses noosing
normalizes normalizing
noses nosing
noshes noshing
notches notching
notices noticing
nourishes nourishing
nudges nudging
nurses nursing
obliges obliging
obsesses obsessing
oozes oozing
opposes opposing
oppresses oppressing
organizes organizing
ostracizes ostracizing
outbalances outbalancing
outclasses outclassing
outdistances outdistancing
outfaces outfacing
outfoxes outfoxing
outmarches outmarching
outmatches outmatching
outrages outraging
outranges outranging
overarches overarching
overbalances overbalancing
overcapitalizes overcapitalizing
overcharges overcharging
overdresses overdressing
overemphasizes overemphasizing
overexposes overexposing
overindulges overindulging
overpraises overpraising
overproduces overproducing
overreaches overreaching
overtaxes overtaxing
oxidizes oxidizing
oxygenizes oxygenizing
paces pacing
packages packaging
pages paging
paralyses paralysing
paraphrases paraphrasing
parches parching
parses parsing
particularizes particularizing
passes passing
pasteurizes pasteurizing
patches patching
patronizes patronizing
patties patting
pauperizes pauperizing
pauses pausing
peaches peaching
penalizes penalizing
pennies penning
perches perching
perishes perishing
perjuries perjuring
perplexes perplexing
personalizes personalizing
peruses perusing
phases phasing
philosophizes philosophizing
photosensitizes photosensitizing
phrases phrasing
pieces piecing
pierces piercing
piggies pigging
pillages pillaging
pinches pinching
pisses pissing
pitches pitching
places placing
plagiarizes plagiarizing
plashes plashing
pleaches pleaching
pleases pleasing
pledges pledging
plunges plunging
poaches poaching
poises poising
polarizes polarizing
poleaxes poleaxing
polices policing
polishes polishing
politicizes politicizing
popularizes popularizing
poses posing
poshes poshing
possesses possessing
potteries pottering
potties potting
pouches pouching
poultices poulticing
pounces pouncing
practices practising
praises praising
prances prancing
preaches preaching
prearranges prearranging
predeceases predeceasing
predisposes predisposing
prefaces prefacing
prefixes prefixing
prejudges prejudging
prejudices prejudicing
premises premising
prepossesses prepossessing
presages presaging
presses pressing
presupposes presupposing
prices pricing
prises prising
prizes prizing
processes processing
processes processing
produces producing
professes professing
progresses progressing
prolapses prolapsing
promises promising
pronounces pronouncing
propagandizes propagandizing
proposes proposing
proselytizes proselytizing
psychoanalyses psychoanalysing
publicizes publicizing
publishes publishing
pulses pulsing
pulverizes pulverizing
Punches punching
punishes punishing
purchases purchasing
purges purging
purposes purposing
purses pursing
pushes pushing
quashes quashing
quenches quenching
quick-freezes quick-freezing
quizzes quizzing
races racing
rages raging
raises raising
rampages rampaging
ranges ranging
rationalizes rationalizing
ravages ravaging
ravishes ravishing
razes razing
reaches reaching
re-addresses re-addressing
realizes realizing
rearranges rearranging
reassesses reassessing
recesses recessing
recognizes recognizing
recompenses recompensing
recoveries recovering
rediscoveries rediscovering
redresses redressing
reduces reducing
refaces refacing
refreshes refreshing
refurbishes refurbishing
refurnishes refurnishing
refuses refusing
regresses regressing
regularizes regularizing
rehashes rehashing
rehearses rehearsing
rehouses rehousing
reimburses reimbursing
reinforces reinforcing
rejoices rejoicing
relapses relapsing
relaxes relaxing
releases releasing
relinquishes relinquishing
relishes relishing
remilitarizes remilitarizing
reminisces reminiscing
renounces renouncing
reorganizes reorganizing
replaces replacing
replenishes replenishing
reposes reposing
represses repressing
reproaches reproaching
reproduces reproducing
repulses repulsing
researches researching
resurfaces resurfacing
retches retching
retouches retouching
retraces retracing
retrenches retrenching
retrogresses retrogressing
revenges revenging
reverences reverencing
reverses reversing
revises revising
revitalizes revitalizing
revolutionizes revolutionizing
rhapsodizes rhapsodizing
ridges ridging
rinses rinsing
rises rising
romances romancing
romanticizes romanticizing
rouges rouging
rouses rousing
rubberizes rubberizing
rubbishes rubbishing
rummages rummaging
rushes rushing
sabotages sabotaging
sacrifices sacrificing
salvages salvaging
sandwiches sandwiching
satirizes satirizing
sauces saucing
savages savaging
savouries savouring
scandalizes scandalizing
scavenges scavenging
scorches scorching
scotches scotching
scourges scourging
scratches scratching
screeches screeching
scrimmages scrimmaging
scrounges scrounging
scrunches scrunching
scrutinizes scrutinizing
searches searching
secularizes secularizing
seduces seducing
seizes seizing
self-sacrifices self-sacrificing
senses sensing
sensitizes sensitizing
sentences sentencing
sentimentalizes sentimentalizing
serializes serializing
sermonizes sermonizing
services servicing
sexes sexing
short-changes short-changing
shushes shushing
signalizes signalizing
silences silencing
singes singeing 
singularizes singularizing
sizes sizing
sketches sketching
skirmishes skirmishing
slashes slashing
slaveys slaving
sledges sledging
slenderizes slenderizing
slices slicing
sloshes sloshing
slouches slouching
sluices sluicing
smashes smashing
smirches smirching
smudges smudging
snatches snatching
sneezes sneezing
snitches snitching
snoozes snoozing
socializes socializing
solaces solacing
solemnizes solemnizing
soliloquizes soliloquizing
sources sourcing
souses sousing
sovietizes sovietizing
spaces spacing
specializes specializing
spices spicing
spiritualizes spiritualizing
splashes splashing
splices splicing
sploshes sploshing
splurges splurging
sponges sponging
spruces sprucing
squashes squashing
squeezes squeezing
squelches squelching
stabilizes stabilizing
stages staging
standardizes standardizing
starches starching
stashes stashing
staunches staunching
sterilizes sterilizing
stigmatizes stigmatizing
stitches stitching
stooges stooging
stresses stressing
stretches stretching
stylizes stylizing
subleases subleasing
submerges submerging
subsidizes subsidizing
suffices sufficing
suffuses suffusing
summaries summering
summarizes summarizing
summonses summonsing
superimposes superimposing
supervises supervising
supposes supposing
suppresses suppressing
surcharges surcharging
surfaces surfacing
surges surging
surmises surmising
surpasses surpassing
surprises surprising
surtaxes surtaxing
susses sussing
swinges swingeing 
swishes swishing
switches switching
syllabizes syllabizing
symbolizes symbolizing
sympathizes sympathizing
synchronizes synchronizing
synthesizes synthesizing
syringes syringing
systematizes systematizing
tantalizes tantalizing
tarnishes tarnishing
taxes taxing
teaches teaching
teases teasing
televises televising
temporizes temporizing
tenses tensing
terraces terracing
terrorizes terrorizing
thatches thatching
theorizes theorizing
thrashes thrashing
threshes threshing
tinges tingeing
top-dresses top-dressing
tosses tossing
touches touching
traces tracing
traduces traducing
traipses traipsing
tranquilizes tranquilizing
transfixes transfixing
transfuses transfusing
transgresses transgressing
transposes transposing
traverses traversing
treasuries treasuring
trellises trellising
trenches trenching
trespasses trespassing
trices tricing
trivializes trivializing
trounces trouncing
trudges trudging
trusses trussing
twitches twitching
tyrannizes tyrannizing
unbalances unbalancing
uncrosses uncrossing
undercharges undercharging
underexposes underexposing
undresses undressing
unhinges unhinging
unhitches unhitching
unhorses unhorsing
unleashes unleashing
unlooses unloosing
unsexes unsexing
upstages upstaging
urbanizes urbanizing
urges urging
uses using
utilizes utilizing
vamooses vamoosing
vanishes vanishing
vanquishes vanquishing
vaporizes vaporizing
varnishes varnishing
verbalizes verbalizing
verges verging
vexes vexing
victimizes victimizing
visualizes visualizing
vitalizes vitalizing
vocalizes vocalizing
voices voicing
vouches vouching
voyages voyaging
vulcanizes vulcanizing
vulgarizes vulgarizing
wages waging
waltzes waltzing
warehouses warehousing
warranties warranting
washes washing
watches watching
waxes waxing
wedges wedging
welshes welshing
wenches wenching
westernizes westernizing
wheezes wheezing
whinnies winning
whiskeys whisking
whitewashes whitewashing
winces wincing
winches winching
wishes wishing
witches witching
witnesses witnessing
womanizes womanizing
wrenches wrenching
Xeroxes Xeroxing

John Higgins, Shaftesbury, November 2010.