The /ʃ/ sound is spelled with <sh> or <ch> in words of French origin. The /h/ sound is spelled with <h>. The contrast can only occur initially.
This is a contrast between an alveolar fricative and a glottal fricative, both voiceless. It is a known problem for speakers of Spanish, Greek and Russian.
The mean density value is 2.2%. The list makes 79 semantic distinctions, a loading of 53%.
chaise haze chaises hazes Charlotte harlot chute hoot chutes hoots schist hissed Sean horn shack hack shacked hacked shacking hacking shacks hacks shackles hackles shad had shaddock haddock shaft haft shafts hafts shag hag shags hags shah ha shake hake shale hail shale hale shall Hal shallow hallow shallowed hallowed shallowing hallowing shallows hallows sham ham shammed hammed shamming hamming shams hams shandy handy shank hank shanks hanks shard hard share Herr share hair shares hairs share hare shared hared sharing haring shares hares shark hark sharks harks sharp harp sharps harps sharping harping sharper harper sharpers harpers sharpest harpist shatter hatter shatters hatters shaven haven shawl hall shawls halls shawl haul shawls hauls she he shear hear shearing hearing shears hears sheaves heaves shed head shedding heading sheds heads sheerer hearer she-goat he-goat she-goats he-goats shekel heckle shekels heckles shell hell shells hells shelled held shelve helve shelves helves sherbet Herbert shied hide shield healed ship hip ships hips shire higher shire hire shires hires shirt hurt shirting hurting shirts hurts shirts hertz shoal hole shoals holes shoaled holed shoaling holing shoaled hold shock hock shocked hocked shocking hocking shocks hocks shod hod shoe who shoes whose shoo who shoos whose shone Hon shook hook shoot hoot shoots hoots shooting hooting shooter hooter shooters hooters shop hop shopped hopped shopping hopping shops hops shopper hopper shoppers hoppers shore haw shored hawed shores haws shore hoar shorn horn shorten Houghton shot hot shots hots shoulder holder shoulders holders show ho show hoe showed hoed showing hoeing shows hoes shown hone showered Howard shun Hun shuns Huns shunt hunt shunted hunted shunting hunting shunts hunts shunter hunter shunters hunters shut hut shuts huts shy hi shy hie shies hies shied hied shying hieing shy high shyest highest shyly highly shyness highness
John Higgins, Shaftesbury, December 2010.