ck as in back

Used after “short” vowels

Compound words Non-compound Rarely after “short” i at end of non-compound

back

beck

buck

deck

dock

duck

hack

heck

hick

hock

kick

Mack

Mick

mock

muck

neck

Nick

pack

peck

pick

pock

puck

tack

tick

tuck

wick

yuck

But k as in wok (column 6)

 

black

block

brick

check

chick

chuck

click

clock

cluck

crack

crick

crock

fleck

flick

flock

frock

heck

hick

hock

jack

jock

kick

knack

knock

lack

lick

lock

luck

pluck

quack

quick

rack

rick

rock

ruck

sack

shack

shock

sick

slack

slick

smock

snack

sock

speck

stack

stick

stock

struck

stuck

suck

thick

track

trick

truck

whack

wrack

wreck

airsick

backbench

backbone

backdrop

background

backhand

backlash

backlog

backpack

backrest

backseat

backside

backslide

backspace

backspin

backstop

backstreet

backstroke

backtrack

backup

backwash

bedrock

blackbird

blackboard

blackheads

blacklist

blackmail

blackout

blockbuster

bottleneck

brickwork

brickyard

broomstick

bushwhack

candlestick

carsick

checklist

checkmate

checkout

checkpoint

checkup

chickpeas

chickweed

chopsticks

clockwise

clockwork

cocktail

comeback

cowlick

crackdown

crackpot

cutback

deadlock

deckhand

docklands

dockside

dockyard

drawback

dreadlocks

dropkick

drumstick

duckbill

feedback

feedstock

flapjacks

flashback

gooseneck

gridlock

hacksaw

handpick

hardback

hatchback

haystack

headstock

homesick

horseback

humpback

hunchback

interlock

jackfruit

jackknife

jackpot

joystick

kickback

kickboard

kickbox

kickoff

kickstand

knockout

lacking

landlocked

lipstick

livestock

lockout

locksmith

lockstep

lockup

lumberjack

matchstick

moonstruck

muckrake

necklace

neckline

necktie

nickname

nitpick

nutcracker

outback

overstock

padlock

paperback

payback

peacock

pinprick

playback

quarterback

quicksand

racetrack

redneck

rickshaw

roadblock

rockfall

rootstock

rucksack

seasick

setback

shipwreck

shockproof

sidekick

skyrocket

slapstick

soundtrack

starstruck

stickleback

stickpin

stickup

stockbroker

stockholder

stockpile

stockroom

stockyard

sunblock

sundeck

switchback

thickset

throwback

throwback

thunderstruck

toothpick

tracksuit

truckload

tuckshop

upchuck

uptick

wetback

windsock

wisecrack

woodblock

woodchuck

woodpecker

yardstick

aback

attack

barrack

beckon

bicker

blockade

bracket

brackish

bucket

buckle

bullock

buttock

cassock

checkers

chicken

clicker

clucking

cockpit

Cossack

cockatiel

cockatoo

cockroach

cracker

crackling

cricket

cuckoo

docket

ducking

duckling

feckless

gecko

hacker

haddock

hammock

hijack

hillock

jackal

jackeroo

jacket

jumbuck

locker

locket

mackerel

mackintosh

nickel

packet

paddock

peckish

picket

pillock

pocket

pucker

racket

ransack

reckon

repack

restock

rocket

ruckus

sackful

shamrock

Sherlock

slacken

snicker

socket

sprocket

sticker

stockade

stocking

stockist

stricken

suckling

tackling

thicken

thicket

thickness

ticket

tickle

tracker

trickster

trucker

tucker

tussock

unlock

unpack

unstuck

warlock

wedlock

wicked

wicker

wicket

wicking

derrick

fossick

gimmick

killick

limerick

maffick

maverick

niblick

Pickwick

rollick

Usually ic as in panic

(Columns 3, 4 & 5)

 

Also note final c becomes ck before suffix starting with e or i:

frolicked

frolicking

magicked

magicking

mimicker

mimicking

mosaicked

mosaicking

panicking

physicked (archaic)

physicking (archaic)

picnicker

picnicking

politicked

politicker

politicking

trafficked

trafficker

trafficking

But note last sound, not spelling, changes when adding e or i suffix as in magic-magician, and septic-septicemia (US)

 

 

2 thoughts on “ck as in back

  1. hannah

    Hi Alison, just working though page 27 level 2 word sounds can you give me some more teaching pointers regarding when to use k or ck at the word end.

    Many Thanks

    Reply
    1. alison Post author

      ck typically goes after “short” vowels, as in back, neck, sick, lock and duck. These are mostly written with a single vowel letter, and are vowels that can’t go in open syllables in English (i.e. they don’t occur at the end of a word). The main exception here is the “ic” group of longer words like panic, traffic, frolic, music etc, which you’d expect to have ck at the end, not just c.

      k typically goes after other vowel sounds, as in bake, weak/week, like, broke, soak, book, fluke, nuke, park, work, Turk, dirk, fork, auk etc. It also goes after consonant sounds, as in milk, desk and think.

      This is how we manage to represent 5 “short” and 5 “long” vowels with only five vowel letters. We indicate which vowel it is with the next consonant spelling, as in backing/baking, licking/liking etc. The vowel spelling stays the same and the consonant spelling tells us which vowel sound to say. Other spellings which typically signal preceding “short” vowels are doubled consonant letters (ss, ff, zz etc), dge as in bridge and tch as in catch.

      Hope that makes sense and is useful. Alison

      Reply

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