Vowels 2 and 9, /ɪ/ versus /u/    235 pairs     [sipsoup.html]

Many different spellings of /ɪ/ occur in this list, including <i>, <u> in busy, and <y>. The /u/ vowel is most often spelled <oo>, but we also find <ou> in ghoul, <ew> in bestrewed, <uCe> in brute and brusque, <ui> in suitor and <o> in womb. The homograph gill occurs in two pairs: gill/ghoul and gill/joule.

The sounds are different in length and sufficiently far apart in the mouth to cause no problems to learners.

Interesting pairs include:

caches cachous
collision collusion
eliminate illuminate
linear loonier

Pairs involving taboo words are bib/boob, kin/coon, shit/shoot and tit/toot.

The mean density is 1.1%. The list makes 112 semantic distinctions, giving a loading of 48%.

baccy Baku 
bestrid bestrewed 
bib boob
  bibbed boobed
  bibbing boobing
  bibs boobs
Bicester booster
bid booed
bill buhl
bin boon
  bins boons
bit boot
  bits boots
biz boos
biz booze
brim broom
  brims brooms
brisk brusque
  briskly brusquely
Brit bruit	
  Brits bruits
Brit brute
  Brits brutes
  British brutish
brittle brutal
busy boozy 
  busier boozier 
  busies boozes 
  busiest booziest 
caches cachous
cashes cachous
chid chewed 
collision collusion
cookie cuckoo
  cookies cuckoos
diddle doodle
  diddled doodled
  diddles doodles
  diddling doodling
dim doom
  dimmed doomed
  dimming dooming
  dims dooms
dish douche
  dishes douches
djinn June 
  djinns Junes 
drill drool
  drilled drooled
  drilling drooling
drills drools
drip droop
  dripped drooped
  dripping drooping
  drips droops
eliminate illuminate
  eliminated illuminated
  eliminates illuminates
  eliminating illuminating
  elimination illumination
  eliminations illuminations
elision illusion
  elisions illusions
fill fool
  filled fooled
  filling fooling
  fills fools
flick fluke
  flicks flukes
flit flute
  flits flutes
  flitted fluted
  flitting fluting
gift goofed
gill Goole 
gill ghoul 
  gills ghouls 
gill joule
  gills joules   
Gillian Julian
gin June
  gins Junes
grim groom
grip group
  gripped grouped
  gripping grouping
  grips groups
hid who'd
hill who'll
him whom
hip hoop
  hipped hooped
  hips hoops
his who's
hit hoot
  hits hoots
  hitting hooting
is ooze
kid cooed 
kill cool 
  killed cooled 
  killer cooler 
  killers coolers 
  killing cooling 
  kills cools 
kin coon 
kip coop 
  kipped cooped 
  kipper cooper
  kippers coopers 
  kipping cooping 
  kips coops 
kipper Cupar
kit coot 
  kits coots 
lick Luke 	   
limb loom
  limbed loomed
  limbs looms	  
limn loom
  limning looming  
  limns looms
linear loonier
lip loop
  lipped looped
  lips loops
liquor lucre
list loosed
listen loosen
  listened loosened
  listening loosening
  listens loosens
lit loot
litter looter
  litters looters
liver louvre
  livers louvres
Liz loos
Lymme loom
mid mood
middy moody
miss moose
  misses mooses
mitt moot
Ms moos
piddle poodle
  piddles poodles
pill pool
  pills pools
pill Poole
pip poop
  pips poops
rid rood
  rids roods
riff roof
  riffs roofs
rift roofed
rill rule
  rills rules
rim rheum 
  rimmed roomed
  rimming rooming
rims rooms
shit chute 
  shits chutes   
shit shoot
  shitting shooting	 
  shits shoots
sinner sooner
sip soup
  sipped souped
  sipping souping
  sips soups
sitter suitor
  sitters suitors
  sitting suiting
skill school 
  skilled schooled 
  skills schools 
skip scoop 
  skipped scooped 
  skipping scooping 
  skips scoops 
skit scoot 
  skits scoots 
  skitter scooter 
  skitters scooters 
slid slewed 
slip sloop
  slips sloops
snick snook
  snicks snooks
snicker snooker
  snickers snookers
snip snoop
  snipped snooped
  snipping snooping
  snips snoops
spick spook
spill spool
  spills spools
spin spoon
  spinning spooning
  spins spoons
still stool
  stills stools
till tool
  tilled tooled
  tilling tooling
  tills tools
Tim tomb
tit toot
  tits toots
tittle tootle
trip troop
  tripped trooped
  tripper trooper
  trippers troopers
  tripping trooping
  trips troops
Turkey Turku
whiff woof
  whiffs woofs
whim womb
  whims wombs
whiz woos
wind wound
  winded wounded
  winding wounding
  winds wounds
wrist roost 
  wrists roosts 
writ root 
  writs roots 
Writtle rootle
Geographical: Outside English-speaking countries, most visitors are from Hong Kong, Saudi Arabia, Vietnam, Malaysia, India, Jordan, Yemen, Denmark, Spain and United Arab Emirates. Average 11 visitors per month.

John Higgins, Shaftesbury, January 2011