- K K, (k[=a]),
the eleventh letter of the English alphabet, is nonvocal
consonant. The form and sound of the letter K are from the
Latin, which used the letter but little except in the early
period of the language. It came into the Latin from the
Greek, which received it from a Ph[oe]nician source, the
ultimate origin probably being Egyptian. Etymologically K is
most nearly related to c, g, h (which see).
Note: In many words of one syllable k is used after c, as in crack, check, deck, being necessary to exhibit a correct pronunciation in the derivatives, cracked, checked, decked, cracking; since without it, c, before the vowels e and i, would be sounded like s. Formerly, k was added to c in certain words of Latin origin, as in musick, publick, republick; but now it is omitted. [1913 Webster]
Note: See Guide to Pronunciation, [sect][sect] 240, 178, 179, 185. [1913 Webster]
The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.