(Journal of the Simplified Spelling Society J4 1987/1 pp22-25)
Back to Part 1. Down to Consonants.

Heterographs in English Part 2.

Christopher Upward.

4 LIST OF HETEROGRAPHS

4.1 Vowels differently spelt.
[In the printed journal, the vowels were presented alfabetically by category with 14 overlapping columns across the page and a whole line for each item. They are presented alfabetically here and by category on another page. A very few items are in two categories.]

ads:adz(US)/e
affect:(effect?)
ail:ale -s
air -s:ere:e'er:heir -s
airy:(eyrie?)
aisle:isle - s
all:awl
allude:(elude?) -s d ing
allusion:(illusion?) -s
(allusive:?)elusive:illusive
aloud:allowed
altar:alter -s
ant:aunt -s US
aught:ought
aural:oral
aureole:oriole -s
ay:aye -s:eye -s:I
 
bad:(bade?)
(bade?):bayed
bail:bale -s d ing
baize:bays 2
bald:balled:bawled
balk:baulk:baulk -s
ball:bawl -s d ing
banded:bandied
bare:bear -s d ing
baron:barren 2
base:bass -s 2
based:baste 2
(baton?):batten -s 2
bay:bey -s
bazaar:(bizarre?) 2
be:bee(:B)
beach:beech -s
bean:been
beat:beet -s
beau:bow -s
beer:bier -s
beetle:betel 2
(beret?:)berry:bury -s 3
berth:birth -s
bight:bite:byte -s
billed:build 2
blew:blue
boar:(boor?):bore -s
board:bored
boarder:border -s
bode:bowed
bogey:bogy
bold:bowled
bolder:boulder
bole:bowl -s
born:borne:bourn
bough:bow -s
boy:buoy -s
braid:brayed
braise:brays:braze
brake:break -s ing
breach:breech -s
bread:bred
brewed:brood
brews:bruise 2
bridal:bridle
broach:brooch -s
bruit:brute -s
buy -s:by:bye -s
buyer:byre -s
 
cachou:cashew -s 2
caddie:caddy
calendar:calender -s
call:caul -s 2
callous:callus
carat:caret:carrot -s 2
cast:caste -s
caster:castor
cause:caws
cede:seed -s d ing 2
cedar:seeder -s 3
ceiling:sealing -s 2
cellar:seller -s 2
censer:censor:sensor -s 2
cereal:serial -s 2
chased:chaste 2
cheap:cheep
chews:choose
chilli:chilly
choir:quire -s 2
choler:collar 2
chough:chuff -s 2
choux:shoe -s d ing:shoo -s d ing 2
chute:shoot -s 2
cite:sight:site -s d ing 2
clause:claws
clew:clue
climb:clime -s
coal:cole -s
coarse:corse -s :course -s
coarser:courser
coat:cote -s
coir:coyer 2
complement:compliment -s d ing
coo:coup -s
core:corps
council:counsel -s lor 2
cousin:cozen -s3
coward:cowered
creak:creek -s
crewed:crude
crewel:cruel
crews:cruise -s:cruse -s
cubical:cubicle
cue -s d ing:queue -s d ing(:Q) 2
curb:kerb -s 2
currant:current -s
cygnet:signet -s 2
cymbal:symbol -s 2
 
daisies:dazes 2
Dane:deign -s 2
days:daze 2
dean:dene -s
dear:deer
demean:demesne
dependant:dependent
descent:dissent 2
dew:due -s
die:dye -s d ying yeing
dier -s:dire:dyer -s
dine:dyne -s
discreet:discrete
doe:doh:dough
doer:dour
does:doz
does:doughs:doze 2
dollar:dolour -s 2
done:dun
dost:dust
douse/dowse:dowse -s d ing
draft:draught -s 2
drier:dryer
droop:drupe -s
dual:duel
 
earn:urn -s
eerie:(eyrie?)
elicit:illicit 2
enquire:inquire -s d ing y
ensure:insure -s d ing
ewe:yew:you(:U) 2
ewer. US your -s
ewes:use:yews:youse 2
eyelet:islet -s
 
fain:feign
faint:feint -s d ing
fair:fare -s
fate:fete -s d
faun:fawn -s
fays:faze -s d ing:phase -s d ing 3
feat:feet
feed:fee'd
felloe:fellow -s
fiancé:fiancée
file:phial -s
filter:philtre -s 2
find:fined
fir:fur
firs:furs:furze
fisher:fissure -s 2
flair:flare
flea:flee -s
flew:flu:flue
floe:flow -s
flour:flower -s d ing
foaled:fold
for:fore:four
forego:forgo -ne ing
forth:fourth
foul:fowl -s
frays:phrase 2
frees:freeze:frieze 2
friar:frier/fryer -s
 
Gael:gale -s
gage:gauge -s d ing
gait:gate -s
gall:Gaul 2
gamble:gambol -s d ing
gays:gaze 2
geezer:geyser -s 2
gelid:jellied 3
genes:jean 2
gibe/jibe:gybe/jibe -s d ing 2
gild:guild -s
gilt:guilt
gneiss:nice 3
gnu -s:knew:new -s:nu 2
gorilla:guer/r/illa -s
grayed US/greyed:grade
grate:great -s r
grays US/greys:graze 2
greave:grieve -s
groan:grown
groin:groyne -s
guide:guyed
guise:guys
 
hail:hale -r
hall:haul -s 2
hair -s:hare -s:Herr 2
handsome:hansom 2
hangar:hanger -s
hart:heart -s
hay:heigh:hey
heal:heel -s d ing
hear:here
heard:herd
heroin:heroine
hew:hue -s
hi:hie -s:high -s
hide:hied
higher:hire:hiya
him:hymn 2
hoar:whore -s 2
hoard:horde:whored 2
hoarse:horse
hoes:hose
hold:holed
hour;our -s
humerus:humorous x2
 
indict:indite -s d ing
immanent:(imminent?)idle:idol -s
 
(J:jay)
 
key:quay -s 2
knead -s d ing:kneed:need -s d ing 2
know:no:Noh 2
knows:noes:nose 3
 
(L:ell)
laager:lager -s
lain:lane
lair:layer -s?)
lays:laze 2
lea:lee
leach:leech -s
lead:led
leader:lieder
leaf:lief
leak:leek -s
leant:lent
leaver:RP lever -s
lessen:lesson -s
liar:lyre -s
licker:liquor 2
lieu:loo
lightening:lightning
links:lynx, 2
lo:low
load -s:lode -s:lowed
loan:lone
loot:lute -s
loos:lose
lumbar:lumber
 
maid:made
mail:male -s
main:mane -s
maize:maze
mall:rnaul -s 2
manakin/manikin/mannikin:mannequin -s 3
mangel:mangle -s
manner-manor -s 2
mantel:mantle -s
mare:mayor -s
marten:martin -s
mead:meed
mealie:mealy
mean:mien
meat -s:meet -s:mete
medal:rneddle -s 2
meddler:medlar -s 2
metal:mettle 2
meter:metre -s
mew:mu -s
mews:muse
mind:mined
miner:minor -s
might:mite
missal -s:missel:mistle:US missile -s 2
moan:mown
moat:mote -s
mode:mowed
mood:mooed
(moor?:)more
morn:mourn -s
morning:mourning
mucose/mucous:mucus
muscle:mussel -s 2
mustard:mustered
 
naval:navel
nay:née:neigh -s,
none:nun
 
(O:oh:owe)
oar -s:or:ore-s
ode:owed
one:won
(ordinance:ordnance?)
 
paean:peon -s 2
pail:pale -s
pain:pane -s
pair:pare:pear:père(:payer?)-s
palate:palette:pallet -s 3
pause:paws
pea:pee(:P) -s
peace:piece
peak:peek:pique -s d ing 2
peal:peel -s d ing
pearl:purl -s
pedal:peddle -s d ing 2
peer:pier -s
pendant:pendent
petrel:petrol -s
pi:pie
picks:pyx 2
(pidgin?:)pigeon -s 2
pitied:pitted 2
place:plaice
plain:plane -s
pole:poll -s d ing 2
(poor:?)pore:pour -s d ing
poses:posies
praise:prays:preys
pray:prey -d ing
(precede?):proceed -s d ing ssion 2
pride:pried
prier:prior -s
pries:prise:prize, 2
principal:principle -s
profit:prophet -s 2
puisne:puny 2
 
(R:are)
rabbit:rarebit -s 2
radical:radicle -s
raid:rayed
rain:reign:rein -s d ing
raise -s d ing:rays:rase/raze -s d ing 2
ray:re/ray
read:reed -s
read:red
real:reel
reek:wreak -s ing 2
revere:revers
review:revue
rheum:room
rho:roe:row -s 2
rhyme:rime 2
rigger -s:rigor:rigour -s 2
right:rite:wright:write -s 2
road:rode:rowed
roes:rose:rows
role:roll -s 2
rondeau:rondo -s
rood:rude:rued
roomer:rumour -s 2
root:RP route -s d ing
rough:ruff -s 2
rouse:rows
rout:US route -s d ing
roux:rue
rye:wry 2
 
sail:sale -s
sailer:sailor -s
sandhi:sandy 2
seraph:(serif)
savory:savoury
scene:seen 2
sea:see
seam:seem -s d
seaman:seamen:semen 2
sear -s:seer -s:sere
seas:sees:seise:seize 2
serf:surf -s
serge:surge
sew -s d ing:so:soh:sow -s d ing
sewn:sown
shake:sheik/h -s
shear:sheer
shire:shyer
shore:(sure?)2
side:sighed
sighs:size 2
sign:sin/e
slay:sleigh -s
slight:sleight
sloe:slow -s
soar:sore -s
soared:sword
sold:soled
sole:soul -s
some:sum
son:sun
sough:sow -s
spade:spayed
(spoor?):spore
staid:stayed
stair:stare(:stayer) -s
stake:steak -s
stationary:stationery
steal:steel -s d ing
stile:style -s
stoop:stoup -s
story:storey -s d
straight:strait -s
studded:studied
sty:stye -s
succour:sucker -s 2
suède:swayed 2
suite:sweet 2
summary:summery
(surplice?:)surplus -s
swat/swot:swot -s d ing
 
taxes:taxies:taxis
tail:tale -s
taper:tapir -s
tare:tear -s
taut:taught
tea:tee(:T) -s
team:teem -s d ing
tear:tier -s
tenner:tenor -s, 2
tern:turn -s
their:there (:they're)
threw:through
throe:throw -s
throne:thrown
thyme:time 2
Thai:tie -s
tide:tied
tided:tidied
tire:tyre -s d
to:too:two
toad:toed:towed
toe-tow -s d ing
ton:tonne:ton -s 2
tor:tore
tough-tuff 2
trait:tray -s
troop:troupe -s
 
vale:veil -s
vain:vane -s:vein -s
(verdure?):verger/virger 3
vial -s:vile:viol -s
villain:villein
 
wade:weighed
wail:whale -s d ing 2
wain:wane -s
waist:waste
wait:weight -s d ing
waive:wave -s d ing
war:wore
ware:wear -s:where 2
warn:worn
wart:wort
watt:what:wot 3
way -s:whey:weigh -s 2
we:wee
weak:week
weal:wheel (we'll) 2
weald:wheeled:wield 2
weather:wether:whether 2
weaver:weever
weepie:weepy
were:whirr 3
w(h)iled:wild 2
whined:wined:wind 2
whirl:whorl -s
whirled:whorled:world 2
whoa:woe
RP wrath:wroth
wood:would
 
yore:RP your
yoke, yolk -s
 


4.2 Consonants differently spelt.

<b> rabbit:rarebit -s 2.

<ch> check:cheque:Czech 2, which:witch 2.

<d> medal:medal -s 2, meddler:medlar -s 2, pedal:peddle -s 2, sandhi:sandy 2.

<f> chough:chuff -s 2, draft:draught -s 2, filter:philtre -s 2, fays:faze -s d ing:phase -s d ing 3, flocks:phlox 2, frays:phrase 2, plaintiff:(plaintive?), profit:prophet -s 2, rough:ruff -s 2, tough:tuff 2.

<g> rigger -s:rigor:rigour -s 2.

<h> hoar:whore 2, hoard:horde:whored 2, hole:whole -s, holy:wholly 2, hooping:whooping.

<j> genes:jeans 2, gelid:jellied 3, gibe/jibe:gybe/jibe -s d ing 2, gin:djinn:jinn 2, (pidgin?:)pigeon -s 2, (verdure?):verger/virger 3.

<k> arc:ark -s, bark:barque -s, bloc:block -s, cask:casque -s, check:cheque:Czech -s 2, choir:quire -s 2, choler:collar 2, chord:cord -s, clack:claque -s, click:(clique?) -s, conker:conquer - s, cocks:cox, curb:kerb -s 2, colonel:kernel -s 2, cue:queue -s d ing 2, ducked:duct 2, ducks:dux, flecks:flex, flocks:phlox 2, franc:frank, key:quay -s 2, lacks:lax, licker:liquor 2, links:lynx 2, manakin/ manikin/ mannakin:mannequin -s 3, mark:marque -s, mask:masque -s, minks:minx, packed:pact 2, peak:peck:pique -s d ing 2, picked: Pict 2, picks:pyx 2, racket:racket/ racquet -s, roc:rock -s, scull:skull -s, sic:sick, specks:specs, succour:sucker -s 2, tacked:tact 2, tacks:tax, tic:tick -s, tocsin:toxin, tracked:tract 2, wax:whacks 2.

<l> bell:belle -s, billed:build 2, call:caul -s 2, elicit:illicit 2, gall:Gaul -s 2, gelid:jellied 3. grill:grille -s, hall:haul -s 2, holy:wholly 2, lama:llama -s mall:maul -s 2, palate:palette:pallet -s 3, pole:poll -s d ing 2, role:roll -s 2, told:tolled, weld:welled.

<m> dam:damn -s d ing, him:hymn 2, jam:jamb -s, lam:lamb -s d ing, limb:limn -s d ing, plum:plumb, program:programme -s.

<n> band:banned, cannon:canon -s, Dane:deign -s 2, fin:Finn -s, finish:Finnish, gin:djinn/jinn 2, gneiss:nice 3, gnu -s:knew:new -s 2, handsome:hansom 2, in:inn -s, knave:nave -s, knead -s d ing:kneed:need -s d ing 2, knight:night -s. knit:nit -s, knot:not, know -s:no -s:nose 3, manakin/ manikin/ mannikin:mannequin -s 3, manner:manor -s 2, pend:penned, tenner:tenor -s 2, ton:tonne:tun -s 2.

<p> rapped:rapt:wrapped 3 step:steppe.

<r> bard:barred, baron:barren 2, (beret?:)berry:bury -s 3, carat:caret:carrot 2, chard:charred, hair -s:hair -s:Herr 2, par:parr, rack:wrack -s, rap:wrap -s ing, rapped:rapt:wrapped 3, reek:wreck -s d, reek:wreak -s d ing 2, rest:wrest -s d ing, retch:wretch -s, rho:roe:row 2, rhyme:rime 2, right:rite:wright:write -s 2, ring:wring -s er, rote:wrote, rung:wrung, rye:wry 2, ward:warred, were:whirr 3.

<s> base:bass -s 2, blessed:blest 2, bused/ bussed:bust 2, canvas:canvass, cedar:seeder 3, cede:seed -s d ing 2, ceiling:sealing -s 2, cell:sell -s, cellar:seller -s 2, censer:censor:sensor -s 2, cent:scent:sent, cents:scents:sense, cereal:serial -s 2, cite:sight:site -s d ing 2, cops:copse, council:counsel -s 2, cygnet:signet -s 2, cymbal:symbol -s 2, descent:dissent 2, gneiss:nice 3, grocer:grosser, guessed:guest 2, laps:lapse, licence:license -s, missal -s:missel/ mistle:US missile -s 2, missed:mist 2, muscle:mussel -s 2, mussed:must 2, paced:paste 2, passed:past 2, practice:practise -g. premise:premiss -s, psalter:salter -s, quarts:quartz, scene:seen 2, trussed:trust 2.

<sh> cache:cash, cachou:cashew -s 2, choux:shoe -s d ing:shoo -s d ing 2, chute:shoot -s 2, fisher:fissure -s 2, marshal:martial, (shore:sure? 2).

<t> based:baste 2, baton:batten -s 2, blessed:blest 2, bused/bussed:bust 2, but:butt -s, chased:chaste 2, ducked:duct 2, guessed:guest 2, leased:least, mat:matt, metal:mettle 2, missed:rnist 2, mussed:must 2, net:net/nett, paced:paste 2, packed:pact 2, palate:palette:pallet -s 3, passed:past 2, picked:Pict 2, pitied:pitted 2, rapped:rapt:wrapped 3, set:sett -s, tacked:tact 2, thyme:time 2, tracked:tract 2, trussed:trust, 2, wan:what:wot 3.

<w> suède:swayed 2, suite:sweet 2, watt:what:wot 3, way -s:whey:weigh -s 2, wail:whale -s d ing 2, ware:wear -s :where 2, wax:whacks 2, weal:wheel 2, weald:wheeled:wield 2, weather:wether:whether 2, wen:when, were:whirr 3, wet:whet -s d ing, which:witch 2, whig:wig -s, while:wile, w(h)iled:wild 2, whin:win, whine:wine -s ing, whined:wined:wind, whirled:whorled:world 2, whit:wit, whither:wither, whoa:woe 2.

<y> ewe:yew:you 2, ewes:use:yews 2.

<z> baize:bays 2, boos:booze, brews:bruise 2, brows:browse, cousin:cozen -s 3, daisies:dazes 2, days:daze 2, desert:dessert -s, does:doughs:doze 2, fays:faze -s d ing:phase -s d ing 3, frees:freeze:frieze 2, gays:gaze 2, geezer:geyser -s 2, grays US/greys:graze 2, grisly:grizzly, knows:noes:nose 3, lays:laze 2, peas:pease, pleas:please, pries:prise -s d ing:prize -s d ing 2, pros:prose, raise -s d ing:rays:rase/raze -s d ing 2, seas:sees:seise:seize 2, sighs:size 2, teas:tease.


4.3 Some statistics.
Counting bracketed doubtful cases but not derivatives, the list contains 590 separate sets of heterographs. 476 (68%) differ by vowel spelling, 232 (32%) by consonant, 110 by both, 25 in the spelling of more than one consonant and 8 in more than one vowel. Of the 590 sets, some 440 are monosyllabic, while only 20 have over 2 syllables. The 590 sets consist mainly of pairs, but 64 are triplets, 16 quadruplets and 1 set even contains 5 words (one or two admittedly of doubtful validity). The total number of heterographic words listed is 1,263. Such a total should surely give us pause in our reforming zeal.

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Part 3, vowel heterografs listed by foneme category.