Minimal Pair List Consonants /s/ versus /l/, 544 pairs
The /s/ sound is spelled with <s>, <ss>, <ce> or <sw> in sword . The /l/ sound is spelled with <l> or <ll>.
The computer brought up 33 pairs in which /s/ contrasts with a syllabic /l/ such as acquits/acquittal . These do not feel like minimal pairs since the syllable count is different, so I have listed them separately at the end of the main list. Another case where the status of the pair is doubtful because of the syllable count is rashness/rational , but I left that in the main list.
This is a contrast between a voiceless sibilant fricative and a voiced lateral continuant. It causes no problems.
The only taboo word pair is piss/pill .
Several pairs arise from deriving two adjectives with slightly different meanings from one noun, such as ceremomious/ceremonial or industrious/industrial . Other interesting pairs include:
The mean density value is 2%. The list makes 317 semantic distinctions, a loading of 59%.
ace ail animus animal apiece appeal aside allied asp alp asps alps ass Al assay allay assayed allayed assaying allaying assays allays assert alert asserted alerted asserting alerting asserts alerts asses alleys assign align assigned aligned assigning aligning assigns aligns assignment alignment assignments alignments assize allies base bail basing bailing based bailed base bale basing baling based bailed basement bailment basements bailments bases baileys bass bail bass bale bassoon balloon bassoons balloons beside belied Bess Belle Bess bell Bessie belly best belt bested belted besting belting bests belts boast bolt boasted bolted boasting bolting boasts bolts brace braille C Leigh C lea C lee case kail cease lease ceased leased ceasing leasing ceases leases ceasing ceiling cedar leader cedars leaders cede lead cedes leads ceding leading cedes Leeds cent leant cent lent ceremonious ceremonial chorus choral cinch lynch cipher lifer ciphers lifers cirrus Cyril cissy silly cite light cited lighted cites lights citing lighting coarse call coarser caller coast colt coasts colts coaster coulter coasters coulters comics comical commits commital continuous continual cos col course call coursing calling coursed called courser caller coursers callers coursings callings crease creel critics critical curse curl cursing curling cursed curled curtsey curtly cuss cull dace dale deceit delete deceits deletes digits digital dose dole dosing doling doesd doled dosed dolt doss doll dossing dolling dossed dolled dosser dollar dossers dollars dosses dollies Erse earl Essen Ellen excess excel exhaust exalt exhausted exalted exhausting exalting exhausts exalts face fail faced failed facing failing facings failings force fall forcing falling forced fault fosses follies gas gal gases galleys gassy galley genius genial gist jilt gists jilts goose Goole gorse gall gorse Gaul grace grail graphics graphical grouse growl grousing growling groused growled gusset gullet gussets gullets hearse hurl hiss hill hissed hilt hoarse hall hoarse haul horse hall horse haul horsy Horley house howl husk hulk husking hulking husks hulks hysterics hysterical imperious imperial industrious industrial inset inlet insets inlets insist enlist insisted enlisted insisting enlisting insists enlists Jess gel Jessie jelly josses jollies juice joule juicy Julie kiss kill kissed killed kissing killing kissed kilt kisser killer kissers killers lice lisle list lilt listed lilted listing lilting lists lilts literacy literally loss loll losses lollies mace mail messed melt mice mile miss mill missing milling missed milled missed milt Morse mall Morse maul moss moll mossy Molly most moult muss mull mussing mulling mussed mulled ness knell ness Nell nest knelt nexus necklace nexuses necklaces Nice kneel Nice Neil niece Neil niece kneel numerous numeral outset outlet outsets outlets overload oversewed oversize overlies pace pail pace pale pacing paling paced paled parasitic paralytic passes parleys peace peal peace peel Percy pearly pest pelt pests pelts piece peal piecing pealing piece peel piecing peeling piss pill posse poly posses polys pseud lewd puce pule purse pearl pursing pearling puss pull pussy pulley pussies pulleys race rail racing railing raced railed radius radial rashness rational receive relieve received relieved receives relieves receiving relieving recourse recall rice rile S L sable label sables labels sabre labour sabred laboured sabres labours sabring labouring sack lack sacked lacked sacking lacking sacks lacks sad lad sadder ladder sag lag sagged lagged sagging lagging sags lags saga lager sagas lagers said lead said led sake lake sakes lakes sail kale sale kale Sam lam same lame sameness lameness sand land sanded landed sanding landing sands lands sane lain sane lane sank lank sap lap sapped lapped sapping lapping saps laps sash lash sashes lashes sat lat sate late sateen lateen satin Latin satyr latter sauced salt saucy sorely save lave saved laved saves laves saving laving saw law saws laws saw lor saw lore sawed laud sawed lord sawn lawn sawyer lawyer sawyers lawyers say lay saying laying says Les sceptics sceptical scion lion scions lions scythe lithe sea Leigh sea lea seas leas sea lee seas lees sear leer search lurch searched lurched searches lurches searching lurching searcher lurcher searchers lurchers sear leer seared leered searing leering sears leers seaward leeward seaway leeway secure liqueur secures liqueurs sedge ledge sedges ledges see Leigh see lea sees leas see lee sees lees seed lead seeds leads seeding leading seeds Leeds seek leak seeks leaks seeking leaking seek leek seeks leeks seep leap seeping leaping seeps leaps seine lane seines lanes send lend sent lent sending lending sends lends sent leant sender lender senders lenders sends lens sensuous sensual Sept leapt serious cereal set let sets let's setting letting settings lettings setter letter setters letters set-up let-up set-ups let-ups seven leaven sevens leavens sew lo sew low sewing lowing sews lows sewed lowed sewed lode sewer lower sewers lowers sewn loan Siberian Liberian sick lick sicked licked sicks licks sicker liquor Sidney Lydney siege liege sieges lieges sieve live sieved lived sieves lives sieving living sift lift sifted lifted sifting lifting sifts lifts sigh lie sighing lying sighs lies sight light sighted lighted sights lights sighting lighting sign line signed lined signing lining signs lines Sikh leak Sikhs leaks Sikh leek Sikhs leeks silly lily sillies lilies simply limply sink link sinking linking sinks links Sioux lieu Sioux loo sire liar sires liars site light sited lighted sites lights siting lighting sitter litter sitters litters six licks size lies so lo so low soap lope soaped loped soaping loping soaps lopes soar law soars laws soar lor soar lore soared laud soared lord sob lob sobbed lobbed sobbing lobbing sobs lobs soccer locker sock lock socked locked socking locking socks locks socket locket sockets lockets sofa loafer sofas loafers soft loft softie lofty Sol loll solely lowly song long songs longs soon loon sooner lunar sop lop sopped lopped sopping lopping sops lops sore law sores laws sore lor sore lore sorrel laurel sorrels laurels sorry lorry sot lot sots lots sou lieu sou loo sous loos sough luff soughed luffed soughing luffing soughs luffs soup loop souped looped soups loops sour lour soured loured souring louring sours lours souse louse sow lo sow low sowing lowing sows lows sowed lowed suck luck sucks luxe suit loot suits loots suited looted suiting looting suitor looter suitors looters sump lump sumps lumps sussed lust susses sullies Swiss swill sword laud swords lauds sword lord swords lords taxing tackling Tess tell trace trail tracing trailing traced trailed tracer trailer tracers trailers undersign underline undersigned underlined undersigning underlining undersigns underlines unsighted unlighted unsigned unlined Venus venal vest veld vice vile virtuous virtual vitreous vitriol voice voile west welt whist wilt worse whirl yes yellPairs which contrast /s/ versus /ļ/ (syllabic /l/)
acquits acquittal aesthetics aesthetical cervix cervical Classics classical clerics clerical clinics clinical comics comical critics critical cynics cynical dukes ducal economics economical electrics electrical ethics ethical fanatics fanatical logics logical lyrics lyrical mathematics mathematical mechanics mechanical medics medical metaphysics metaphysical metrics metrical monarchs monocle mystics mystical numerics numerical obstetrics obstetrical optics optical orbits orbital palates palatal physics physical psychics psychical recites recital requites requital resets resettle statistics statistical stoics stoical strategics strategical tactics tactical therapeutics therapeutical topics topical tropics tropical