Consonants /f/ versus /m/, 381 pairs     [fopmop.html]

The /f/ sound is spelled with <f>, <ff>, <gh> in rough or <ph> in phone. The /m/ sound is spelled <m> or <mm>.

The contrast is between a voiceless labio-dental fricative and a voiced bilabial nasal continuant. It is not usually a problem.

Taboo word pairs include fart/martand fuck/muck. Occasionally mucking is used in fiction as a stand-in for fucking, as in "What do you mucking well think you're doing?".

Interesting pairs include:

faster master
felon melon
ferret merit
fighter mitre
firmer murmur
fortification mortification
funny money
refined remind
suffer summer

The mean density value is 3.4%. The list makes 205 semantic distinctions, a loading of 54%.

beef beam 
  beefing beaming 
  beefs beams
brief bream 
  briefs breams
buff bum
  buffing bumming
  buffs bums
caff cam 
  caffs cams
calf calm
cf cm
chaff charm
  chaffing charming
clef Clem 
coffer comma
  coffers commas
Crieff cream
cuff come 
  cuffing coming 
  cuffs comes
Cuffley comely
defer demur
  deferred demurred
  deferring demurring
  defers demurs
defies demise
differ dimmer
  differs dimmers
duffer dumber
electrocardiograph electrocardiogram 
elephant element 
  elephants elements 
elf elm
F M		  
fa ma
fa mar
fable Mabel 
face mace
  faces maces
fad mad
faddy Maddy 
fade made
fade maid
  fades maids
fairy Mary 
fag mag
  fags mags
faggot maggot
  faggots maggots
fail mail
  failed mailed
  failing mailing
  fails mails
fail male
  fails males  
fain main  
fain Maine 
fair mare
  fairs mares
fake make
  fakes makes
  faking making
fall mall
  falls malls
fall maul
  falling mauling
  falls mauls
fallow Mallow 
fame maim
  famed maimed
fan man
  fans mans
  fanned manned
  fanning manning
fancies manses
far ma
far mar
fare mare
  fares mares
farrow marrow
  farrows marrows
fart mart
  farts marts
fast mast
  fasts masts
faster master
fat mat
  fats mats
  fatted matted
  fatting matting
fat Matt 
fate mate
  fated mated
  fating mating
  fates mates
fatter matter
faugh maw
fault malt
  faulted malted
  faulting malting
  faults malts
faun morn
  fauns morns
faun mourn
  fauns mourns
fawn morn
  fawns morns
  fawning morning
fawn mourn
  fawns mourns
  fawned mourned
  fawning mourning
Fawley Morley
fear mere
  fears meres
feat meat
  feats meats
feat mete
  feats metes  
fed Med
fee me
feed mead
  feeds meads
feet meat
feet mete
feign main
  feigns mains
feign Maine
fellow mellow
  fellows mellows
felon melon
  felons melons
felt melt
fen men
fend mend
  fended mended
  fending mending
  fends mends
fender mender
  fenders menders
ferret merit
  ferreted merited
  ferreting meriting
  ferrets merits
ferry merry
fête mate
  fêted mated
  fêting mating
  fêtes mates
fettle metal
feud mewed
few mew
fey May 
fickle mickle
fiddle middle
  fiddles middles
  fiddling middling
  fiddled middled
fidget midget
  fidgets midgets
fie my
fiery miry
fight might
fight mite
  fights mites
fighter mitre
  fighters mitres
filch milch
file mile
  files miles 
filed mild
fill mill
  filled milled
  filling milling
  fills mills
fillet millet
filly Millie 
find mind
  finding minding
  finds minds
finder minder
  finders minders
fine mine
  fines mines
  fining mining
  fined mined
finer miner
fir myrrh
fire mire
  fired mired
  fires mires
  firing miring
firmer murmur
Firth mirth
fissile missile
fission mission
fist missed
fisdt mist
  fists mists
fix mix
  fixed mixed
  fixes mixes
  fixing mixing
fixture mixture
  fixtures mixtures
fizzle mizzle
  fizzled mizzled
  fizzling mizzling
foal mole
  foals moles
foaled mould 
fob mob
  fobbed mobbed
  fobbing mobbing
  fobs mobs
foe mo 
foe mow
  foes mows
foil moil
  foiled moiled
  foiling moiling
  foils moils
foist moist
fold mould
  folded moulded
  folding moulding
  folds moulds
folder moulder
  folders moulders
folk moke
  folks mokes
folly Molly 
food mood
  foods moods
fop mop
  fops mops
for maw
fore maw
four maw
  fours maws
for more
fore more
four more
force Morse 
ford Maud 
foreman Mormon 
Forfar former
fortify mortify
  fortified mortified
  fortifies mortifies
  fortifying mortifying
fortification mortification
  fortifications mortifications
fosse moss
  fosses mosses
found mound
  founds mounds
fount mount 
  founts mounts
fountain mountain
  fountains mountains
fox mocks
fuck muck
  fucked mucked
  fucking mucking
  fucks mucks
fuddle muddle
  fuddled muddled
  fuddles muddles
  fuddling muddling
fug mug
  fugs mugs
fuggy muggy
  fuggier muggier
  fuggiest muggiest
fumble mumble
  fumbled mumbled
  fumbles mumbles
  fumbling mumbling
funk monk
  funks monks
funky monkey
funny money
fur myrrh
fuse mews
fuse muse
  fused mused
  fuses muses
  fusing musing
fuss muss
  fussed mussed
  fusses musses
  fussing mussing
fusty musty
fuzzy muzzy
  fuzzier muzzier
  fuzziest muzziest
gaffer gamma
  gaffers gammas
Geoff gem
half harm
hoof whom
huff hum
  huffing humming
  huffs hums
  huffed hummed
jiffy Jimmy 
  jiffies jimmies
life lime
loaf loam
muff mum
oaf ohm
  oafs ohms
offend amend 
  offended amended 
  offending amending 
  offends amends 
phase Mays 
phase maize
phase maze
  phased mazed 
  phases mazes 
phone moan 
  phoned moaned 
  phones moans 
  phoning moaning 
phut mutt 
preface premise
  prefaced premised
  prefaces premises
  prefacing premising
Prof prom
radiograph radiogram 
reef ream 
refined remind
rife rhyme 
riff rim
roof rheum 
roof room
  roofing rooming
  roofs rooms
rough rum
  rougher rummer
  roughest rummest
roughage rummage
safe same
  safeness sameness
scruff scrum
scuff scum
siphon Simon 
skiff skim
slough slum
  sloughing slumming
  sloughed slummed
  sloughs slums
sough some 
sough sum
  soughing summing
  soughs sums
sphere smear 
  spheres smears 
Stafford stammered
suffer summer
  suffered summered
  suffering summering
  suffers summers
Taffy tammy
  Taffies tammies
thief theme 
toff Tom 
toffee Tommy 
toughie tummy
  toughies tummies
turf term
  turfing terming 
wharf warm 
whiff whim
  whiffs whims
woof womb 
  woofs wombs

John Higgins, Shaftesbury, October 2010.