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How many different spellings can one phoneme or sound have? Sez has at least 28. All are in W3 except the possessive forms, Holy See (OED), the plural of Se(lenium), sez, Spanish si, and -sies.

cees = ces = cs plurals of the letter c: W3 (Webster's 3rd New Int'l. Dict.)

cee's = ce's = c's possessives of the letter c

-cies, cy's plural and possessive of -cy, a suffix of action, practice, rank, etc

Cs, C's ditto of Century, Roman 100, etc

seas, sea's ditto of sea

sees, see's ditto of the word see, or contraction of 'see is' as in "See's a trigram."

Sees, See's ditto of a term for the Papacy, the Holy See, or of other named sees. seize

Ses Se's ditto of the chemical abbreviation for Selenium

-ses plural of -sis, a suffix but a headword in W3 as with other -fixes in this list

sez phonetic spelling of sees, seize, etc.

sis, si's English plural and possessive of Spanish yes, a frequent English borrowing

-syes, -sy's plural and possessive of -sy, an affectionate suffix for small one, eg mopsy

-sies informal plural of -sy; mopsies

Szis, Szi's members of or possessive of a Himalayan people

In addition, 27 phonemes sometimes pronounced like sez in different accents or in slurred talk give a shonky total of 55 spellings. I've excluded 9 other (not so) near homophones involving a long i.


cedes, cede's plural and possessive of the word cede; or contraction of "cede is" cis, cis- on the same side of a molecule, both a word and a prefix

cist a rock-lined pit or grave, or a wicker sacrament vessel

cyst, -cyst word and suffix

says, sez verb and a frequent colloquial spelling thereof

sces = sess = sezz sinsemilla cannabis (Cassell Dict. of Slang) seeds, seed's

Sias = Zias members of a Pueblo people and language group

Sia's = Zia's possessive of same

SIDS sudden infant death syndrome, abbreviation used as a word, like AIDS siege

Sis, Si's plural and possessive of the chemical abbreviation for silicon

zees, zs plurals of the letter Z (US pronunciation)

zee's, z's possessive of same

Are there any other spellings of sez? Can you find a phoneme or word with even more spellings?


Perth, Australia

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Publication:Word Ways
Geographic Code:8AUST
Date:Nov 1, 2013
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