ck as in back

Used after “short” vowels

With ‘short’ vowelsWith kn, qu, wrCompound words with ‘short’ vowelsOther compound wordsNon-compoundsRarely after “short” i at end of non-compound
black
block
brick
check
chick
chuck
click
clock
cluck
crack
crick
crock
fleck
flick
flock
frock
heck
hick
hock
jack
jock
kick
lack
lick
lock
luck
Mick
mock
muck
neck
Nick
pack
peck
pick
pluck
pock
puck
rack
rick
rock
ruck
sack
shack
shock
sick
slack
slick
smock
snack
sock
speck
stack
stick
stock
struck
stuck
suck
tack
thick
tick
track
trick
truck
tuck
wick
yuck
But k as in wok (column 6)
knack
knock
quack
quick
whack
wrack
wreck
backbench
backdrop
backhand
backlash
backlog
backpack
backrest
backspin
backstop
backtrack
backup
bedrock
blacklist
checklist
checkup
chopsticks
crackpot
cutback
deckhand
docklands
dropkick
drumstick
duckbill
flapjacks
flashback
gridlock
handpick
hatchback
humpback
hunchback
jackpot
kickback
kickbox
kickoff
kickstand
lacking
landlocked
lipstick
locksmith
lockstep
lockup
matchstick
nitpick
padlock
pinprick
quicksand
redneck
rucksack
setback
slapstick
stickpin
stickup
sunblock
sundeck
switchback
thickset
tuckshop
upchuck
uptick
wetback
windsock
airsick
backbone
background
backseat
backside
backslide
backspace
backstreet
backstroke
backwash
blackbird
blackboard
blackheads
blackmail
blackout
blockbuster
bottleneck
brickwork
brickyard
broomstick
bushwhack
candlestick
carsick
checkmate
checkout
checkpoint
chickpeas
chickweed
clockwise
clockwork
cocktail
comeback
cowlick
crackdown
deadlock
dockside
dockyard
drawback
dreadlocks
feedback
feedstock
gooseneck
hacksaw
hardback
haystack
headstock
homesick
horseback
jackfruit
jackknife
joystick
kickboard
knockout
livestock
lockout
lumberjack
moonstruck
muckrake
necklace
neckline
necktie
nickname
nutcracker
outback
overstock
paperback
payback
peacock
playback
quarterback
racetrack
rickshaw
roadblock
rockfall
rootstock
seasick
shipwreck
shockproof
sidekick
skyrocket
soundtrack
starstruck
stickleback
stockbroker
stockholder
stockpile
stockroom
stockyard
throwback
throwback
thunderstruck
toothpick
tracksuit
truckload
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

Note that sometimes last sound (not spelling) changes when adding suffix starting with e or i, 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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