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.