The /ɪ/ vowel occurs only in its commonest spellings <i> or <y> in this list. The /ɑ/ vowel is most commonly <ar> but is also <a>, <aa>, <aCe> and even <er> in clerk.
These two sounds differ in length as well as being well apart in the mouth, so are very unlikely to be a problem for any learner.
There are several rude-word confusions, namely fit/fart and piss/pass.
Interesting pairs include:
The mean density is 1.1%. The list makes 124 semantic contrasts, a loading of 54%.
behead Barrhead bib barb bibbed barbed bibs barbs bicker barker bickers barkers bid baa'd bid bard bids bards bid barred Billy barley bin barn bins barns binnacle barnacle binnacles barnacles biscuit basket biscuits baskets bit Bart bitter barter bitters barters biz baas biz bars chid Chard chid charred Chile Charlie chills Charles chintz chants chit chart chits charts click clerk clicked clerked clicking clerking clicks clerks Crosby crossbar Dick dark dicker darker dickey darkey dickeys darkeys din darn dinned darned dinning darning dins darns drift draft drifted drafted drifting drafting drifts drafts drift draught drifts draughts fist fast fists fasts fit fart fits farts fitted farted fitting farting giggle gargle giggled gargled giggles gargles giggling gargling grist grassed grits Graz hick hark hicks harks hid hard hidden harden him harm hip harp hips harps hippie harpy hippies harpies hit hart hits harts hit heart hits hearts hymn harm hymned harmed hymning harming hymns harms is R's is ares it art its arts itch arch itched arched itches arches itching arching kickoff Kharkov kid card kidded carded kidding carding kids cards kill Carl kin Calne kin khan kip carp kipped carped kipping carping kips carps kissed cast kissed caste kit cart kits carts kitted carted kitting carting kitten carton kittens cartons lick lakh licks lakhs lick lark licked larked licking larking licks larks lid lard lids lards lift laughed list last listed lasted listing lasting lists lasts liver larva liver lava Lynn Larne memorial marmoreal Mick Mach Mick mark Mick marque mid marred midge marge mill marl Millie Mali million Malian millions Malians misc mask misc masque missed mast mission Martian missions Martians mist mast mists masts mister master mitt mart mitts marts mix marks mix marques Ms mars mystery mastery nick nark nicked narked nicking narking nicks narks nix narks petition partition petitioned partitioned petitioning partitioning petitions partitions pick park picked parked picking parking picks parks picker parka pickers parkas pillar parlour pillars parlours piss pass pissed passed pisses passes pissing passing pit part pits parts pitting parting pitted parted pitch parch pitched parched pitches parches pitching parching pith path pitied parted pity party pities parties prig Prague prince prance princes prances pulses pulsars pyx parks quick quark ridge raj rift raft rifts rafts shift shaft shifted shafted shifting shafting shifts shafts ship sharp ships sharps shipper sharper shippers sharpers simple sample simples samples simpler sampler skid scarred skiff scarf skiffs scarfs skip scarp skips scarps skipper scarper skippered scarpered skippering scarpering skippers scarpers smitten smarten spick spark stick stark stickers starkers stiff staff stiffs staffs stilling starling stitch starch stitched starched stitches starches stitching starching tin tarn tins tarns tit tart tits tarts titter tartar titters tartars vintage vantage vintages vantages viz vaseGeographical: Outside English-speaking countries, most visitors are from Saudi Arabia, Hong Kong, France, Malaysia, Jordan, Germany, Tunisia, Pakistan, South Korea, Yemen, Norway, Thailand, Vietnam, India and Denmark. Average 13 visitors per month.
John Higgins, Shaftesbury, January 2011.