Long-s versus f

Assembled by Jack Lynch

As more and more texts from before 1800 are being put into electronic form by people without expertise -- whether scanned with OCR software, or typed by those without old-spelling knowledge (sometimes done overseas by those with little knowledge of modern English, let alone early modern) -- it becomes increasingly important to spot potential confusions of the long s and the letter f.

With the help of several people on the alt.usage.english newsgroup, especially David Vanecek and Mark Israel, I've assembled a list of words that will sneak past a spelling checker if the letters are confused. Searching a text for these words may give you a chance to spot potential confusions.

after and aster
aster and after
cafe and case
cafes and cases
case and cafe
cases and cafes
chafe and chase
chafer and chaser
chafing and chasing
chase and chafe
chaser and chafer
chasing and chafing
chefs and chess
chess and chefs
fable and sable
fables and sables
fag and sag
fags and sags
fail and sail
failed and sailed
failing and sailing
fails and sails
faint and saint
fainted and sainted
faintly and saintly
faints and saints
fake and sake
fakes and sakes
fallow and sallow
falter and salter
falters and salters
fame and same
fan and san
fang and sang
fat and sat
fate and sate
fated and sated
fates and sates
fault and sault
favor and savor
favored and savored
favoring and savoring
favors and savors
fear and sear
feared and seared
fearing and searing
fears and sears
feat and seat
feats and seats
fee and see
feed and seed
feeder and seeder
feeders and seeders
feeding and seeding
feedings and seedings
feeds and seeds
fees and sees
fell and sell
felling and selling
fend and send
fetter and setter
fetters and setters
fettle and settle
fever and sever
fevered and severed
fevers and severs
few and sew
fewer and sewer
fickle and sickle
fight and sight
fighting and sighting
fights and sights
fill and sill
fills and sills
filly and silly
fine and sine
fines and sines
finger and singer
fingers and singers
fink and sink
fins and sins
fir and sir
fire and sire
fired and sired
fires and sires
fist and sift
fisted and sifted
fit and sit
fits and sits
fitter and sitter
fitters and sitters
fitting and sitting
fittings and sittings
fix and six
fixes and sixes
fizzle and sizzle
flack and slack
flam and slam
flap and slap
flaps and slaps
flash and slash
flashed and slashed
flashes and slashes
flashing and slashing
flat and slat
flats and slats
fled and sled
fleet and sleet
flew and slew
flick and slick
flicker and slicker
flicks and slicks
flight and slight
flights and slights
fling and sling
flings and slings
flip and slip
flipped and slipped
flips and slips
flit and slit
flop and slop
flopping and slopping
floppy and sloppy
flops and slops
flow and slow
flowed and slowed
flower and slower
flowing and slowing
flows and slows
flung and slung
flurry and slurry
fly and sly
fob and sob
fobbing and sobbing
foggy and soggy
foil and soil
foiled and soiled
foiling and soiling
foils and soils
fold and sold
folder and solder
folly and solly
foot and soot
fore and sore
forest and sorest
fort and sort
forts and sorts
foster and softer
fought and sought
foul and soul
fouls and souls
found and sound
founded and sounded
founder and sounder
founding and sounding
founds and sounds
four and sour
fours and sours
fuck and suck
fun and sun
funder and sunder
funk and sunk
funny and sunny
future and suture
futures and sutures
gift and gist
gist and gift
heifer and heiser
Heiser and Heifer
infect and insect
infects and insects
insect and infect
insects and infects
leafed and leased
leafing and leasing
leased and leafed
leasing and leafing
left and lest
lest and left
life and lise
lift and list
lifted and listed
lifter and lister
lifters and listers
lifting and listing
lifts and lists
Lise and Life
list and lift
listed and lifted
Lister and Lifter
listers and lifters
listing and lifting
lists and lifts
loft and lost
lost and loft
rafter and raster
raster and rafter
ruffian and russian
ruffians and russians
Russian and Ruffian
Russians and Ruffians
saber and faber
sable and fable
sables and fables
sag and fag
sags and fags
sail and fail
sailed and failed
sailing and failing
sails and fails
saint and faint
sainted and fainted
saintly and faintly
saints and faints
sake and fake
sakes and fakes
sallow and fallow
salter and falter
salters and falters
same and fame
sang and fang
sat and fat
sate and fate
sated and fated
sates and fates
savor and favor
savored and favored
savoring and favoring
savors and favors
sear and fear
seared and feared
searing and fearing
seat and feat
seats and feats
see and fee
seed and feed
seeder and feeder
seeders and feeders
seeding and feeding
seedings and feedings
seeds and feeds
sees and fees
sell and fell
selling and felling
send and fend
setter and fetter
setters and fetters
settle and fettle
sever and fever
severed and fevered
severs and fevers
sew and few
sewer and fewer
sickle and fickle
sift and fist
sifted and fisted
sifter and sister
sight and fight
sighting and fighting
sights and fights
sill and fill
sills and fills
silly and filly
sine and fine
sines and fines
singer and finger
singers and fingers
sink and fink
sins and fins
sir and fir
sire and fire
sired and fired
sires and fires
sister and sifter
sit and fit
sits and fits
sitter and fitter
sitters and fitters
sitting and fitting
sittings and fittings
six and fix
sixes and fixes
sizzle and fizzle
slack and flack
slam and flam
slanders and flanders
slap and flap
slaps and flaps
slash and flash
slashed and flashed
slashes and flashes
slashing and flashing
slat and flat
slats and flats
sled and fled
sleet and fleet
slew and flew
slick and flick
slicker and flicker
slicks and flicks
slight and flight
slights and flights
sling and fling
slings and flings
slip and flip
slipped and flipped
slips and flips
slit and flit
slop and flop
slopping and flopping
sloppy and floppy
slops and flops
slow and flow
slowed and flowed
slower and flower
slowing and flowing
slows and flows
slung and flung
slurry and flurry
sly and fly
sob and fob
sobbing and fobbing
softer and foster
soggy and foggy
soil and foil
soiled and foiled
soiling and foiling
soils and foils
sold and fold
solder and folder
soot and foot
sore and fore
sorest and forest
sort and fort
sorts and forts
sought and fought
soul and foul
souls and fouls
sound and found
sounded and founded
sounder and founder
sounding and founding
sounds and founds
sour and four
sours and fours
suck and fuck
sun and fun
sunder and funder
sunk and funk
sunny and funny
suture and future
sutures and futures
wife and wise
wifely and wisely
wise and wife
wisely and wifely