Consonants /p/ versus /z/: 222 pairs     [riperise.html]

The spelling of /p/ is always either <p> or <pp>. The /z/ sound is spelled <s> in inflections, <se> after vowels, <z> initially and <ze>. Also note the unusual spelling of czar, which is also in the dictionary as tsar.

The contrast is between a voiceless stop and a voiced fricative, fairly well separated in the mouth. It is unlikely to be a problem.

The only pair involving a taboo word is bump/bums.

Interesting pairs include

dampen damson
pierrot zero
repent resent

The mean density value is 1.3%. The list makes 178 semantic distinctions, a loading of 80%. This rather high figure is explained by the fact that many of the contrasts in final position are between an uninflected form ending in p or pe or mp and an inflected form ending in s, which clearly cannot be further inflected.

ape A's 
Bacup bakers
beep B's
beep bees
bump bums
burp burrs
camp cams
cape K's 
carp cars
catchup catchers 
chap Chas 
cheap cheese
cheep cheese
chump chums
clamp clams
coop coos
coop coups
Corp cause
Corp caws
Corp cores
Corp corps
cramp crams
crpe craze
croup crews
croup cruise
croup cruse
damp dams
damp damns 
dampen damson
  dampens damsons
dapple dazzle
  dappled dazzled
  dapples dazzles
  dappling dazzling
dep Des 
deep D's
dollop dollars 
dollop dolours
dope does 
dope dohs
dope doze
  doping dozing
drape drays
dupe dues 
fillip fillies
gape gays
gape gaze
  gaped gazed
  gaping gazing
gawp gauze 
gawp gores
grape grays
grape graze
grope grows
gulp gulls 
hap has
heap he's 
help hells 
hemp hems
hip his
hoop who's
hoop whose
hope hoes
hope hose
  hoped hosed
  hoping hosing
hump hums
jape J's 
jape jays
jeep G's
keep keys
keep quays
lamp lambs 
lamp lams
leap leas
leap lees
limp limbs 
limp limns
lip Liz
loop loos
loop lose
  looping losing
lope lows
mope mows
nape neighs
Naples nasals
neap knees 
nope nose
nope knows 
op Oz
P zee
pa czar
pah czar
pap zap
par czar
  pars czars
parr czar
  parrs czars 
pea zee
  peas zees
peal zeal
pee zee
  pees zees
peel zeal
peep P's 
pen Zen
pest zest
Philip fillies
pierrot zero
  pierrots zeros
ping zing
  pinged zinged
  pinging zinging
  pings zings
pink zinc
pip zip
  pipped zipped
  pipping zipping
  pips zips
pipe pies 
plump plumbs 
polyp polys
pomp poms
pone zone
pones zones
pooh zoo
pope pose
poppet posit
  poppets posits
prep Pres 
primp prims
pyre Zaire
quip quiz
  quipping quizzing
ramp rams
rape raise 
  raped raised
  raping raising 
rape rays
rape raze
  raped razed
  raping razing
rep res
repent resent
  repented resented
  repenting resenting
  repents resents
repine resign
  repined resigned
  repines resigns
  repining resigning
report resort
  reported resorted
  reporting resorting
  reports resorts
repp res
ripe rise
riper riser
Ripon risen
romp rhombs 
rope roes
rope rose
rope rows
ropy rosy 
  ropier rosier
scarp scars
scollop scholars
seep C's 
seep seas
seep sees
seep seize
  seeping seizing
shape chaise 
sharp shahs 
sheep she's 
skimp skims
sleepy sleazy 
  sleepier sleazier 
  sleepiest sleaziest 
sloop slews 
slope sloes 
slope slows
slump slums
snappy snazzy
snoop snooze
  snooping snoozing
soap sews
soap sows
soup sous
sump sums
syrup sirrahs
thump thumbs 
tope toes 
tope tows
tramp trams
tripe tries 
troop trews 
troop trues
troupe trews
troupe trues
turnip tourneys 
type Thais
type ties 
up us
viper visor
  vipers visors
wallop wallahs 
warp wars
weep wees
weep wheeze
  weeping wheezing
whelp wells 
whip whiz
  whipping whizzing
whoop who's
whoop whose
whop was 
wipe Y's 
wipe whys
wipe wise
wiper wiser
yelp yells 

John Higgins, Shaftesbury, January 2010.