Minimal Pair List Consonants /s/ versus /ʃ/, 219 pairs

   Minimal pair: Consonants /s/ versus /ʃ/, 219 pairs

The spelling of /s/ is <s> or <c> initially and <s>, <ss> or <ce> medially or finally. The /ʃ/ sound is spelled <sh> or <che> in Boche .

This contrast is between two voiceless fricatives. Among native speakers the replacement of /s/ with /ʃ/ is known as a lateral lisp and is occasionally heard among adult speakers. The actor Sean Connery and the former mayor of New York, Rudy Giuliani, are examples. In a more prominent form it can be used to caricature the speech of drunks: "Jusht one more whishkey for the road". The contrast can be a problem for EFL learners.

A common amd dangerous taboo word pair is sit/shit and its inflections.

Interesting pairs include:

accomplice accomplish
selfish shellfish

The mean density is 1.1%. The set makes 98 semantic contrasts, a loading of 45%.

accomplice accomplish
  accomplices accomplishes
ass ash
  asses ashes
bass bash
  bast bashed
boss Boche
C she
  C's she's
coarsen caution
  coarsened cautioned
  coarsening cautioning
  coarsens cautions
cell shell
  cells shells
censer censure
  censers censures
  censored censured
  censoring censuring
cert shirt
  certs shirts
cos cosh
coshed cost
crass crash
crust crushed
cyst schist
  cysts schists
facers facias
finis finish
fist fished
furnace furnish
  furnaces furnishes
gas gash
  gases gashes
  gassed gashed
  gasses gashes
  gassing gashing
gust gushed
hasten Haitian
  hastens Haitians
hast hashed
hussies hushes
Iris Irish
joss josh
lass lash
  lasses lashes
lease leash
  leases leashes
mass mash
  massed mashed
  masses mashes
  massing mashing
mess mesh
  messed meshed
  messes meshes
  messing meshing
muss mush
office offish
parcel partial
Paris parish
person Persian
  persons Persians
plus plush
posses poshes
puss push
  pussies pushes
rust rushed
sack shack
  sacked shacked
  sacking shacking
  sacks shacks
sad shad
sag shag
  sagged shagged
  sagging shagging
  sags shags
said shed
sake shake
  sakes shakes
sale shale
sallow shallow
  sallowed shallowed
  sallower shallower
  sallowest shallowest
  sallowing shallowing
  sallows shallows
Sam sham
  Sammy shammy
same shame
sandy shandy
sank shank
satyr shatter
  satyrs shatters
save shave
  saved shaved
  saver shaver
  savers shavers
  saves shaves
  saving shaving
  savings shavings
sawed shored
  sawn shorn
  saws shores
scene sheen
seal she'll
sealed shield
sear shear
  seared sheared
  searing shearing
  sears shears
search shirts
seesaw seashore
  seesaws seashores
seat sheet
  seating sheeting
  seats sheets
seek chic
seep sheep
seethe sheathe
  seethed sheathed
  seethes sheathes
  seething sheathing
self shelf
  selves shelves
selfish shellfish
sell shell
  selling shelling
Seoul shoal
sew shew
  sewed shewed
  sewing shewing
  sewn shewn
  sews shews
sift shift
  sifted shifted 
  sifting shifting
  sifts shifts
sigh shy
  sighed shied
  sighs shies 
  sighing shying
sign shine
  signs shines
  signing shining
simmer shimmer
  simmered shimmered
  simmering shimmering
  simmers shimmers 
sin shin
  sinned shinned 
  sins shins
  sinning shinning
single shingle
  singled shingled
  singles shingles
  singling shingling
  singly shingly 
sinus shyness
sip ship
  sipped shipped
  sipping shipping
  sips ships
sire shire 
  sires shires
sit shit
  sat shat
  sits shits
  sitting shitting
snaps schnapps
sofa chauffeur
  sofas chauffeurs
sole shoal
  soled shoaled
  soling shoaling
  soles shoals
sock shock 
  socked shocked
  socking shocking
  socks shocks
soccer shocker
sod shod
sou shoe 
  sous shoes
suitor shooter
  suitors shooters
sop shop
  sopped shopped
  sopping shopping
  sops shops
soar shore
  soared shored
  soars shores
  soaring shoring
sort short
  sorted shorted
  sorter shorter
  sorting shorting
  sorts shorts
sot shot
  sots shots 
sour shower
  soured showered
  souring showering
  sours showers
subtle shuttle
suck shuck
  sucked shucked
  sucking shucking
  sucks Shucks
sun shun
  sunned shunned
  sunning shunning
  suns shuns
surly Shirley
Swiss swish
toss tosh
  tosses toshes
whist wished
Worksop workshop