29 interesting words pairs that differ by one letter

Vocabulary aficionados can appreciate the multitude of additional terms that come from a single change.

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During a recent trip with my kids, we started playing word games to pass the time in the airport and on the plane. A new game we came up with was to start naming pairs of words that differ by only one letter.

We came up with quite a few simple word pairs, such as cat/bat; rate/date; purr/pure. But the game made me wonder about longer word pairs and how the one-letter difference changed the meanings in interesting ways.

After several searches through online dictionaries, Scrabble dictionaries, blogs, and an article from Word Ways: The Journal of Recreational Linguistics,* here is a list of such words.

• Abide/abode

• Absorption/adsorption

• Accent /accept

• Befuddle/bemuddle

• Coal/coax

• Claimed/clammed

• Fabled/failed

• Foster/zoster

• Grate/irate

• Hiss/ kiss

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