Published as an HTML document by John Higgins , University of Stirling, 11 November, 1996. Last modified 12 September 2010.
This is a list of English homophones (words with different spellings and meanings but the same pronunciation) in the word list created by Roger Mitton from the Advanced Learners' Dictionary of Current English. Mitton added a large number of proper names to the word stock of the dictionary, and encoded the pronunciations following the scheme suggested by John Wells for the Alvey project. All I have done here is re-index the dictionary according to pronunciation and identify any adjacent identical pairs. The program to do this was written in Microsoft Basic 7.1, using ISAM calls.
Originally 2750 homophone pairs, 5500 words, showed up when the pronunciations were indexed. A number of these were alternative spellings of the same word, such as Maharajah/Maharaja, Czar/Tsar, realise/realize, etc. After eliminating these I came down to 2782 words. These included one group of five homophones, air, Ayr, e'er, ere and heir, seventeen groups of four homophones, and 104 groups of three homophones. The remaining 1200 pairs included 115 pairs of compound forms of -man/-men, such as airman/airmen, in which the vowel difference has been neutralised, and 16 loan words or phrases from French, such as tour de force/tours de force, in which the singular/plural distinction is seen and not heard. These last two categories have been listed separately.There is one category which I have omitted with some misgiving, namely the homophones in which one member of the pair is a proper noun and would always be capitalised while the other is not. These are words like Jack/jack, China/china, Barking/barking, Welsh/welsh, Art/art, and so on. They almost meet the definition of homophone pairs (same sound, different spelling, different meaning) but not in all contexts. I have, however, included homophones where one member of the pair is a proper noun provided that the two words are spelled differently, as in the case of Brighton/brighten, Chile/chilly, Cowes/cows, and so on.
The homophone pairs involving post-vocalic -r, such as caught/court and ion/iron, will not be homophones for speakers of rhotic dialects. There is also room for argument over homophone pairs where one of the words ends in -r, such as awe/ore, since even for RP speakers these will not be homophones when the next word begins with a vowel. However, these have been included here.
a aye eh ad add adds ads adze ail ale ails ales air Ayr e'er ere heir airs heirs airy eyrie aisle isle I'll aisles isles aitches h's Ali alley all awl allowed aloud alms arms altar alter altars alters analyst annalist analysts annalists Anne an arc ark arcs arks are r aren't aunt Arguses argosies Artie arty ascent assent ascents assents auger augur augers augurs aught ought aural oral aureole oriole aureoles orioles away aweigh awe ore or awes oars ores ax axe ay aye eye i I ayed eyed I'd ayes ays eyes i's b be b's bees baa bah baaed bard barred baas bars bad bade bail bale bailed baled bailing baling bails bales bait bate baited bated baiting bating baits bates baize bays bald balled ball bawl balled bawled balling bawling balls bawls balm barm balmy barmy banded bandied bang bhang banns bans bare bear barer bearer bares bears baring bearing bark barque barks barques baron barren base bass based baste bawd board bawds boards bay bey be bee beaches beeches bean been beat beet beaters betas beau bo bow beaux bows beer bier beers biers beetle betel beetles betels bell belle belles bells berg burg bergs burgs Bern burn berries buries berry Bury bury berth birth better bettor betters bettors bight bite bights bites billed build blew blue boar bore board bored boarder border boars bores Boche bosh bode bowed Boers boas bold bowled bolder boulder bole boll bowl boles bolls bowls bomb-sight bomb-site bomb-sights bomb-sites boos booze borders boarders born borne bourne bough bow boughs bows boy buoy boys buoys brae bray braes braise brays braid brayed brake break brakes breaks braking breaking breach breech bread bred Brest breast brewed brood brews bruise bridal bridle bridals bridles Brighton brighten Britain Briton broach brooch broaches brooches brows browse bruit brute bruits brutes budges budgies bur burr burrs burs bused bussed bust but butt buy by bye buys byes c sea see c's seas sees seize cache cash cached cashed caches cashes caching cashing calk caulk Cork cork calked caulked corked calking caulking corking calks caulks corks call caul callous callus calls cauls Calne khan calve carve calved carved calves carves calving carving candid candied Cannes can cannon canon cannons canons canvas canvass canvases canvasses Capt capped carat carrot karat carats carrots karats Carole carol Carrie carry cast caste caster castor casters castors castes casts caught court cause caws cores Cavan cavern cawed chord cord cored cede seed ceded seeded cedes seeds ceding seeding ceiling sealing cell sell cellar seller cellars sellers cells sells censer censor censers censors cent scent sent cents scents cereal serial cereals serials cession session cessions sessions chard charred chased chaste chauffeuse chauffeuses chaws chores cheap cheep chews choose Chile chilli chilly choc chock chocks chocs choir quire choirs quires choler collar cholers collars chorale corral chorales corrals chords cords chute shoot chutes shoots cite sight site cited sighted sited cites sights sites citing sighting siting citrous citrus clanger clangour Claude clawed clause claws climb clime climbs climes coal kohl coaled cold coaming combing coarse corse course corses courses coarser courser coat cote coats cotes coax cokes cocks cox coddling codling coign coin quoin coigns coins quoins coir coyer Colne cone colonel kernel colonels kernels complement compliment complementary complimentary complements compliments conker conquer conkers conquers coo coup cookie cooky coos coups copies kopjes cops copse Copt copped copy kopje core corps council counsel councillor counsellor councillors counsellors councils counsels cousin cozen cousins cozens coward cowered Cowes cows creak creek creaks creeks Crewe crew crewed crude crews cruise cruse cruises cruses cubical cubicle Cupar cooper curb kerb curbs kerbs currant current currants currents Currie curry cygnet signet cygnets signets cymbal symbol cymbals symbols Cyprus cypress Czech check cheque Czechs checks cheques daisies dazes Daisy daisy dam damn dammed damned damns dams Dane deign Danes deigns daws doors days daze deanery denary dear deer Derek derrick descent dissent descents dissents desert dessert deserts desserts Devizes devises dew due Di die dye diarist direst died dyed dies dyes dire dyer discreet discrete doe doh dough does dohs doze doggie doggy dollar dolour dollars dolours Dolly dolly done dun dost dust Doug dug douse dowse doused dowsed douses dowses dousing dowsing draft draught drafted draughted drafting draughting drafts draughts drawers draws droop drupe droops drupes dual duel ducked duct e's ease earn urn earns urns eaves eves Eddie eddy eerie eery eyrie effed eft elicit illicit elusive illusive ensure insure ensured insured ensures insures ensuring insuring Ernest earnest ewe U yew you ewes U's use yews eyelet islet eyelets islets f^eted fated f^eting fating fain feign faint feint fainted feinted fainting feinting faints feints fair fare fairs fares fallacies phalluses farther father faun fawn fauns fawns feat feet few phew find fined Finn fin Finns fins fir fur firs furs furze fisher fissure fishers fissures flair flare flairs flares flawed floored flaws floors flea flee fleas flees flecks flex flew flu flue flocks phlox floe flow floes flows flour flower floured flowered flourier flowerier flouriest floweriest flouring flowering flours flowers floury flowery foaled fold for fore four formally formerly foul fowl fouled fowled fouler fowler fouling fowling fouls fowls Frances Francis Frank franc frank Franks francs franks frays phrase frees freeze frieze freezes friezes friar frier friars friers fungous fungus g gee Gael gale Gaels gales gaff gaffe gaffes gaffs gage gauge gaged gauged gages gauges gaging gauging gait gate gaits gates Gallup gallop gamble gambol gambled gambolled gambles gambols gambling gambolling gaud gored Gaul gall Gauls galls gauze gores gays gaze geezer geyser geezers geysers Gene Jean gibe gybe jibe gibed gybed jibed gibes gybes jibes gibing gybing jibing gild guild gilder guilder gilders guilders gilds guilds gilt guilt Goole ghoul gorilla guerrilla gorillas guerrillas Gorky gawky grade grayed greyed grate great grater greater grays graze greys greaves grieves groan grown groin groyne groins groynes guessed guest guide guyed Guy guy Guy's guise guys hail hale hairs hares hall haul halls hauls handsome hansom hangar hanger hangars hangers hart heart hawed hoard horde haws whores hay hey he'd heed he'll heal heel healed heeled healing heeling heals heels hear here heard herd hears here's heroin heroine Herr hair hare Herren heron hertz hurts hewed hued hews hues hi hie high hide hied higher hire him hymn ho hoe hoar whore hoards hordes hoarse horse hoes hose hold holed hole whole holes wholes holloa hollow holloas hollows Hoo who hookahs hookers hoop whoop hooped whooped hooping whooping hoops whoops hour our hours ours house how's Hugh hew hue humerus humorous idle idol idles idols in inn Inc ink indiscreet indiscrete inns ins invade inveighed ion iron ions irons j jay j's jays jam jamb jambs jams Jeanie genie Jill gill Jim gym K Kay kail kale key quay keys quays knap nap knapped napped knapping napping knaps naps knave nave knaves naves knead need kneaded needed kneading needing kneads needs knew new knight night knightly nightly knights nights knob nob knobble nobble knobbles nobbles knobs nobs knot not know no knows nos nose laager lager laagers lagers lacks lax lade laid lain lane lakh lark lakhs larks lam lamb lama llama lamas llamas lambed lammed lambing lamming lambs lams laps lapse larva lava lasses lassies laud lord lauded lorded lauding lording lauds lords lawn lorn lay ley lays laze laze leys leach leech leaches leeches lead led leader lieder leaf lief leak leek leaks leeks leas lees leased least Leeds leads Leigh lea lee Lent leant lessen lesson lessens lessons levee levy levees levies Leven leaven Lewes Lewis liar lyre liars lyres lichen liken lie lye lies lyes lieu loo lightening lightning limb limn Lymne limbed limned limbs limns lineally linearly links lynx lions Lyons literal littoral literals littorals lo low loan lone loch lock lough lochs locks loughs lode lowed loos lose loot lute loots lutes lor lore loyalist loyallest lumbar lumber Mach Mark mark marque macs max made maid mail male mails males Maine main mane mains manes maize Mays maze manikin mannequin manikins mannequins manner manor manners manors mantel mantle mantels mantles mare mayor mares mayors marks marques marshal martial marten martin martens martins mask masque masks masques masseurs masseuse masseuses mat matt me mi mead meed meads meeds mean mien means miens meat meet mete meatier meteor meats meets metes medal meddle medals meddles meddler medlar meddlers medlars meeting meting metal mettle meter metre meters metres mews muse might mite mind mined miner minor miners minors minks minx minors mynahs missed mist misses missies Mrs missus mo mow moan mown moat mote moats motes mode mowed mood mooed moor Moore moose mousse mooses mousses morn mourn morning mourning morns mourns mucous mucus muscle mussel muscles mussels mussed must mustard mustered n_ee nay Nat gnat naval navel nay neigh 'neath Neath Neil kneel Nell knell net nett nets netts Nice niece nicks nix none nun o oh owe o'er oar or ore o's owes oarsman oarsmen ode owed one won overate overrate oversea oversee overseas oversees oxeyed oxide Oxon oxen p pea pee p's peas pease pees pa pah paced paste packed pact packs pax paean peon paeans peons pail pale pails pales pain pane pains panes pair pare pear paired pared pairing paring pairs pares pears palette pallet palettes pallets palls pawls pandas panders par parr parrs pars parse passed past patten pattern pattens patterns Paul pall pawl pause paws pores pours pawed pored pawn porn peace piece peak peek peke peaked peeked peaking peeking peaks peeks pekes peal peel pealed peeled pealing peeling peals peels Pearl pearl purl pearled purled pearling purling pearls purls pedal peddle pedalled peddled pedals peddles peddler pedlar peddlers pedlars peer pier peers piers per purr pervade purveyed Pete peat petrel petrol phew whew Philip fillip pi pie pies pis pistil pistol pistils pistols pitied pitted place plaice plain plane plained planed plaining planing plains planes pleas please plum plumb plumbs plums Pole pole poll Poles poles polls Polly poly poof pouf pouffe poofs pouffes poufs Poole pool populace populous pore pour pored poured poring pouring poses posies poseurs poseuse practice practise practices practises praise prays preys pray prey prayed preyed praying preying premise premiss premised premissed premises premisses premising premissing pride pried pries prise prize primacies primuses principal principle principals principles prised prized prises prizes prising prizing profit prophet profits prophets program programme programmes programs pros prose pseud sued purest purist put putt puts putts putted puttied puttee putty puttees putties Q cue queue Q's cues queues quarts quartz quietest quietist R are rack wrack racket racquet rackets racquets radical radicle radicals radicles raid rayed rain reign rein rained reigned reined raining reigning rains reigns reins raise rase rays raze raised rased razed raiser razor raisers razors raises rases raising rasing rancour ranker rap wrap rapped rapt wrapped rapping wrapping raps wraps Ray ray re read reed read red reads reeds rear rhea rears rheas reigning reining Rennes wren rep repp rest wrest rested wrested resting wresting rests wrests retches wretches revere revers reveres revers review revue reviews revues Rex wrecks Rheims reams rheum room Rhodes roads rigger rigour riggers rigours right rite wright write righting writing rights rites wrights writes ring wring ringer wringer ringers wringers ringing wringing rings wrings road rode rowed roc rock rocks rocs roe row role roll roles rolls Rome roam rood rude rued roomer rumour roomers rumours root route rooted routed rooting routing roots routes Rose roes rose rows rotas rotors rote wrote rough ruff roughed ruffed roughing ruffing roughs ruffs rouse rows rues ruse rung wrung Ryde ride rye wry sac sack sacks sacs sax sail sale sails sales sane seine sauce source sauces sources saver savour savers savours scene seen schemas schemers scull skull sculled skulled sculls skulls seam seem seamed seemed seaman seamen semen seaming seeming seams seems sear seer sere sears seers secs sex serf surf set sett sets setts sewer sower sewers sowers shake sheik shakes sheikhs shear sheer sheared sheered shearing sheering shears sheers shire shyer shoe shoo shoeing shooing shoes shoos 'shun shun sic sick sicks six side sighed sighs size sign sine signs sines Sikhs seeks silvan silvern sylvan Sioux Sue slay sleigh slaying sleighing slays sleighs sleight slight sleights slights sloe slow sloes slows so soh sew sow soar sore soared sword soars sores sold soled sole soul soles souls some sum son sun sonny sunny sons suns sort sought spade spayed spars spas spec speck specks specs staid stayed stair stare stairs stares stake steak stakes steaks stalk stork stalks storks stationary stationery steal steel stealing steeling steals steels step steppe steppes steps sties styes stile style stiles styles Stirling sterling stoop stoup stoops stoups storey story storeyed storied storeys stories straight strait straights straits studded studied sty stye Styx sticks succour sucker succours suckers suite sweet suites sweets sumac sumach summary summery Sunday sundae swat swot swats swots swatted swotted swatting swotting Syston cistern t tea tee ti t's teas tease tees tacked tact tacks tax tail tale tails tales talk torque talks torques taper tapir tapers tapirs tare tear tares tears taught taut taxes taxis team teem teamed teemed teaming teeming teams teems tear tier tears tiers tec tech techs tecs tel tell template templet templates templets tenner tenor tenners tenors tern turn terns turns their there they're theirs there's Thorne thorn threw thro' through thru throe throw throes throws throne thrown thyme time tic tick ticks tics tide tied tided tidied tighten titan tightens titans tike tyke tikes tykes tire tyre tires tyres to too two toad toed towed toe tow toeing towing toes tows told tolled tonne ton tun tonnes tons tuns tor tore tracked tract trews trues troop troupe trooper trouper troopers troupers troops troupes trussed trust tubas tubers tunas tuners 'twill twill Tyne tine 'un an vain vane vein vale veil vales veils vanes veins Venus venous veracious voracious veraciously voraciously vial viol vials viols wade weighed wail wale whale wailed whaled wailing whaling wains wanes waist waste waists wastes wait weight waited weighted waiting weighting waits weights waive wave waived waved waiver waver waivers wavers waives waves waiving waving wales whales Wales wails wales war wore ward warred Ware ware wear where wares wears where's waring wearing warn worn watcher wotcher watt what wot wattle what'll watts what's wax whacks way weigh whey Wayne wain wane ways weighs we wee we'd weed we'll weal wheel we've weave weak week weakly weekly weald wheeled wield wealds wields wheels Wear we're weir weather wether weathers wethers wees wheeze weld welled wen when wens when's were whir whirr wet whet wether whether wets whets wetted whetted wetting whetting which witch Whig wig Whigs wigs while wile whiled wild whiles wiles whin win whine wine whined wind wined whines wines whining wining whirl whorl whirled whorled world whirls whorls whirred word whirrs whirs whit wit whites wights whither wither who's whose whoa wo woe why y Wight white wight windlass windless won't wont wood would Y's whys wise yaws yours yoke yolk yokes yolks yore your you're you'll yuleFRENCH PHRASES
agent provocateur agents provocateurs aide-de-camp aides-de-camp billet-doux billets-doux cor anglais cors anglais corps de ballet corps de ballets coup de grace coups de grace coup d'etat coups d'etat enfant terrible enfants terribles fait accompli faits accomplis fianc_e fianc_ee fianc_ees fianc_es fleur-de-lys fleurs-de-lys Grand Prix Grands Prix nom de plume noms de plume nouveau riche nouveaux riches tour de force tours de force-MAN/-MEN COMPOUNDS
aircraftman aircraftmen airman airmen alderman aldermen anchorman anchormen backwoodsman backwoodsmen bandsman bandsmen batman batmen batsman batsmen boatman boatmen brakeman brakemen Bushman Bushmen busman busmen chairman chairmen chapman chapmen clansman clansmen clergyman clergymen congressman congressmen countryman countrymen cracksman cracksmen craftsman craftsmen cragsman cragsmen dalesman dalesmen draftsman draftsmen draughtsman dustman dustmen Dutchman Dutchmen Englishman Englishmen ex-serviceman ex-servicemen exciseman excisemen fieldsman fieldsmen fireman firemen fisherman fishermen footman footmen foreman foremen freedman freedmen freeman freemen Frenchman Frenchmen freshman freshmen frogman frogmen frontiersman frontiersmen gentleman gentlemen gentleman-at-arms gentlemen-at-arms groundsman groundsmen guardsman guardsmen gunman gunmen hangman hangmen helmsman helmsmen henchman henchmen herdsman herdsmen highwayman highwaymen horseman horsemen houseman housemen huntsman huntsmen husbandman husbandmen Indiaman Indiamen infantryman infantrymen Irishman Irishmen journeyman journeymen juryman jurymen kinsman kinsmen landsman landsmen layman laymen lineman linemen linesman linesmen longshoreman longshoremen madman madmen marksman marksmen merchantman merchantmen merman mermen midshipman midshipmen militiaman militiamen milkman milkmen motorman motormen night-watchman night-watchmen nobleman noblemen Northman Northmen nurseryman nurserymen patrolman patrolmen placeman placemen plainsman plainsmen ploughman ploughmen pointsman pointsmen policeman policemen postman postmen quarryman quarrymen raftsman raftsmen rifleman riflemen roundsman roundsmen salesman salesmen Scotchman Scotchmen Scotsman Scotsmen seaman seamen seedsman seedsmen showman showmen sidesman sidesmen signalman signalmen spokesman spokesmen sportsman sportsmen statesman statesmen steersman steersmen switchman switchmen swordsman swordsmen townsman townsmen tradesman tradesmen trencherman trenchermen tribesman tribesmen vestryman vestrymen watchman watchmen waterman watermen Welshman Welshmen yachtsman yachtsmen yeoman yeomenReturn to top of document.