The spelling of /b/ is always <b> and /h/ is alwys <h> in this list since all the contrasts are in syllable-initial position. The /h/ sound does not occur finally. Notice that the homograph bow enters contrasts with hoe and how.
The contrast is between a voiced plosive and a voiceless fricative, maximally separated in the mouth. There is little risk of confusion.There is one mildly taboo word pair in bum/hum.
Interesting pairs include:
The mean density value is 4.7%. The list makes 173 semantic distinctions, a loading of 52%.
abed ahead B he baa ha baa'd hard back hack backed hacked backing hacking backs hacks backband backhand bad had badges Hadjis bag hag bags hags bail hail bailed hailed bailing hailing bails hails bail hale bait hate baited hated baiting hating baits hates bake hake bald hauled bale hail bales hails baled hailed baling hailing bale hale balk hawk balked hawked balking hawking balks hawks ball hall balls halls ball haul balling hauling balled hauled balls hauls bally Halle balm harm band hand banded handed banding handing bands hands bandy handy bandier handier bandiest handiest bandstand handstand bandstands handstands bang hang banging hanging banged hanged bangs hangs bank hank banks hanks banker hanker bankers hankers banned hand bar ha barber harbour barbers harbours bard hard bare hair bares hairs bare hare bares hares bared hared baring haring bare Herr bark hark barked harked barking harking barks harks barred hard barrelled Harold barrier harrier barriers harriers barrow harrow barrows harrows Barry Harry based haste bash hash bashes hashes bashing hashing bashed hashed basin hasten basins hastens baste haste bat hat bats hats batch hatch batches hatches batter hatter batters hatters bawd hawed bawd hoard bawds hoards bawd horde bawds hordes bawl haul bawled hauled bawling hauling bawls hauls bay hay bays haze be he bear hair bears hairs bear hare bearing haring bears hares bear Herr beat heat beating heating beats heats beau ho beau hoe beaux hoes Beccles heckles beck heck becks hecks bed head bedded headed bedding heading beds heads bedroom headroom bee he beep heap beeps heaps beer hear beers hears beer here beet heat beets heats beeves heaves bell hell bells hells belle hell belles hells belled held Belper helper ben hen bens hens Bern Herne bevy heavy bey hay beys haze bhang hang bhangs hangs bide hide bides hides biding hiding bidden hidden bid hid bier hear biers hears bier here bight height bights heights bike hike biked hiked bikes hikes biking hiking Billy hilly bind hind binds hinds binge hinge binges hinges bird heard bird herd birds herds bitch hitch bitched hitched bitches hitches bitching hitching blackball Blackhall boar haw boars haws boar hoar boar whore boars whores board hawed board hoard boarded hoarded boards hoards boarding hoarding board horde boards hordes boarded hoarded boarding hoarding boarder hoarder boarders hoarders boast host boasted hosted boasting hosting boasts hosts bob hob bobs hobs bobby hobby bobbies hobbies bode hoed bog hog bogged hogged bogging hogging bogs hogs bold hold bolder holder bole hole boles holes bollard hollered bolster holster bolsters holsters bone hone boned honed bones hones boning honing Bonn Hon boo Hoo book hook booked hooked booking hooking books hooks bookie hooky bookworm hookworm bookworms hookworms boom whom boos who's boos whose boot hoot booted hooted booting hooting boots hoots booze who's booze whose border hoarder borders hoarders bore haw bores haws bore hoar bore whore bores whores boring whoring bored whored bored hawed bored hoard bored horde Boris Horace born horn borne horn bough how boughs house boulder holder boulders holders bound hound bounded hounded bounding hounding bounds hounds Bourne horn bow ho bow hoe bowing hoeing bowed hoed bows hoes bow how bowl hole bowls holes bowling holing bowled holed bowled hold box hocks buff huff buffed huffed buffing huffing buffs huffs bug hug bugged hugged bugging hugging bugs hugs built hilt bulk hulk bulking hulking bulks hulks bum hum bummed hummed bumming humming bums hums bump hump bumped humped bumping humping bumps humps bun Hun bunch hunch bunched hunched bunches hunches bunching hunching bung hung bunk hunk bunks hunks bunker humker bunkers hunkers bunny honey bunnies honeys bunting hunting bur her burr her burrs hers burble herbal bustle hustle bustled hustled bustles hustles bustling hustling but hut butt hut butts huts butted hutted buy hi buy hie buying hieing buys hies buy high buyer higher buyer hire buyers hires by hi by hie by high bye hi bye hie byes hies bye high byroad highroad byroads highroads byway highway byways highways hotbed hothead hotbeds hotheads
John Higgins, Shaftesbury, January 2010.