K: The Letter of Forceful Action

And when I have stol'n upon these son-in-laws, Then kill, kill, kill, kill, kill, kill!

King Lear William Shakespeare

Formed by the explosive sound of the tongue's contact against the back of the palate, the letter K casts a decidedly aggressive projection and is inextricably linked to words of power and violence as in kick, knight, king, kidnap, keen, knave, Kaiser, knock, knuckle, knife, knuckle-sandwich, and kill.

As one of the rarest initial letters in the English language, the K accounts for less than 1% of all words and isn't even pronounced in 25% of these cases (e.g. knitting and knowledge). This powerful letter, however, carries far more influence than its meager use suggests.

In most cases, the K sounds like the hard letter C and its strong and unyielding qualities are exemplified in the traditional meanings of Karl (manly), Kim and Kimberly (diamond rock), Klaus (leader in victory), Kevin and Kenneth (handsome).

Wherever it appears, its masculizing power influences the tone of names in letter order, accounting for the K’s extraordinary frequency on Dr. Meherabian's survey of names connoting masculinity. No fewer than 25% of the top fifty names on this list contain a K: Buck, Duke, Hank, Kurt, Jake, Mark, Chuck, Jock, Keith, Rick, Mike, Derek, Kevin, Drake, Kirk, etc. Conversely, only two names appear on the list of names indicating femininity, both of which have a diminutive form: Katie and Kitty.

With all their assertive self-confidence, it’s not surprising that K people are amongst the most likely to have a professional sports career. But as an indication of their sometimes over-the-top forcefulness, they are the least likely to have a successful political career.