Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Scotty and Chekov - All Names Contain A "K" Sound!

Have you ever noticed just how often the "K" syllable turns up in names in Star Trek, particularly in The Original Series? Gene Roddenberry seems to have had a fondness for them!

Why would he use this sound so frequently? Maybe because a hard-sounding syllable makes a name stronger or appear like it's owner has some strength or fortitude.

it could just be coincidence though. But it does seem that the "K" sound appears in names more often than chance would allow. It's used in both crew names and those of villains. Maybe it's just me, but the villains I remember most are those with a K syllable somewhere in their name!

The "K" sound comes from three sources: the letter K itself, a hard C (as in "card"), a hard CH (as in "Christine") and a Q (modified by a following U).

It appears in several crew ranks: Crewman, Commander, Captain and Commodore and races: Vulcan, Klingon, Kalar, Capellans, Kohms, Melkotians, Scalosians.

Women's names, for the most part, are softer sounding than male names.

In TOS, the three main characters names (Kirk, Spock & McCoy) all contain a "K" sound. So does Scotty, the fourth main character. Sulu's doesn't but a "K" does appear in his first name. We can't really count this name in as he didn't get his first name "Hikaru" until 1981 in a Star Trek novel.

So here are the names I've come across:

The Original Series

Season 1:

  • Christopher Pike
  • J.M. Colt (Yeoman, The Cage/The Menagerie)
  • The Kalar (natives of Rigel VII. The Cage)
  • The Keeper (Talosian, The Cage/The Menagerie)
  • James Kirk
  • Spock
  • Leonard McCoy
  • Montgomery Scott (Scotty)
  • Hikaru Sulu
  • Pavel Chekov
  • Christine Chapel
  • Lieutenant Kyle (various episodes)
  • Kevin Riley
  • Nancy and Robert Crater (The Man Trap)
  • Crewman Berkeley (various episodes)
  • Balok (The Corbomite Maneuver)
  • Anton Karidian / Kodos The Executioner (The Conscience of the King)
  • Lieutenant Kelowitz (The Galileo Seven)
  • Lieutenant Karl Jaeger (The Squire of Gothos)
  • Lieutenant Kelowitz (Arena)
  • Captain John Christopher (Tomorrow Is Yesterday)
  • Krasnovsky (Court Martial)
  • Corrigan (Court Martial)
  • Hacom (The Return of the Archons)
  • Khan Noonien Singh (Space Seed, The Wrath of Khan)
  • Joaquin (Space Seed, The Wrath of Khan)
  • Commander Kor (Errand of Mercy)
  • Claymare (Errand of Mercy)
  • Edith Keeler (The City on the Edge of Forever)

Season 2:

  • Admiral Komack (Amok Time)
  • Carolyn Palamas (Who Mourns For Adonais?)
  • Prof. Jackson Roykirk (The Changeling)
  • Akuta (The Apple)
  • Makora (The Apple - David Soul in an early role)
  • Kaplan (The Apple)
  • Commodore Decker (The Doomsday Machine)
  • Korob (Catspaw)
  • Crewman Jackson (Catspaw)
  • Zefram Cochrane (Metamorphosis, First Contact)
  • The Companion (Metamorphosis)
  • Sarek (Journey to Babel)
  • Kras (Friday's Child)
  • Keel (Friday's Child)
  • Akaar (Friday's Child)
  • Capellan Warrior (Friday's Child)
  • Commodore Stocker (The Deadly Years)
  • Yeoman Atkins (The Deadly Years)
  • Ensign Garrovick (Obsession)
  • Tark (Wolf in The Fold)
  • Kara (Wolf in The Fold)
  • Karen Tracy (Wolf in The Fold)
  • Koloth (The Trouble with Tribbles)
  • Korax (The Trouble with Tribbles)
  • Kloog (The Gamesters of Triskelion)
  • Krako (A Piece of the Action)
  • Krell (A Private Little War)
  • Isak (Patterns of Force)
  • Melakon (Patterns of Force)
  • Kelinda (By Any Other Name)
  • Cloud William (The Omega Glory)
  • Dr. Carter (The Omega Glory)
  • R.M. Merrick / Merikus (Bread and Circuses)
  • Claudius (Bread and Circuses)

Season 3:

  • Kara (Spock's Brain)
  • Larry Marvick (Is There in Truth No Beauty?)
  • Commander Kang (Day of the Dove)
  • Eraclitus (Plato's Stepchildren)
  • Ekor (Wink of an Eye)
  • Dr. Linke (The Empath)
  • Kryton (Elaan of Troyius)
  • Lokai (Let That Be Your Last Battlefield)
  • Krodak (The Mark of Gideon)
  • Rayna Kapec (Requiem for Methuselah)
  • Anka (The Cloud Minders, Fred Williamson in an early role)
  • Surak (The Savage Curtain)
  • Kahless (The Savage Curtain)
  • Yarnek (The Savage Curtain)
  • Dr. Coleman (Turnabout Intruder)

If you allow for a softer "K" sound with a hard "G" (as in Garrovick), then a few more names get added to the list:

Season 1:

  • Gary Mitchell (Where No Man Has Gone Before)
  • Lee Kelso (Where No Man Has Gone Before)
  • Crewman Green (The Man Trap)
  • Herm Gossett (Miner, Mudd's Women)
  • Magda (Mudd's Women)
  • Lieutenant Galloway (Miri)
  • Dr. Simon van Gelder (Dagger of The Mind)
  • C.P.O. Garrison (Dagger of The Mind)
  • Crewman Gaetano (The Galileo Seven)
  • Lieutenant Galloway (The Galileo Seven, The Return of the Archons)
  • Gorn (Arena)
  • Reger (The Return of the Archons)
  • Lt. Marla McGivers (Space Seed)
  • Vanderberg (Chief miner, The Devil in the Dark)
  • The Guardian of Forever (The City on the Edge of Forever)
  • Crewman Montgomery (various episodes)

Season 2:

  • Gav (Journey to Babel)
  • Crewman Grant (Friday's Child)
  • Lt. Arlene Galway (The Deadly Years)
  • Hengist (Wolf in The Fold)
  • Galt (The Gamesters of Triskelion)
  • The Mugato (A Private Little War)
  • John Gill (Patterns of Force)
  • Gary Seven (Assignment: Earth)

Season 3:

  • Goro (The Paradise Syndrome)
  • Gorgan (And the Children Shall Lead)
  • Morgan Earp (Spectre of the Gun)
  • Doc Holliday (Spectre of the Gun)
  • Garth (Whom Gods Destroy)
  • Irina Galliulin (The Way to Eden)
  • Tongo Rad (The Way to Eden)
  • Colonel Green (The Savage Curtain)

The Next Generation

Picard, Riker and Crusher - More K-Sounding Names!
Picard, Riker and Crusher - More K-Sounding Names!

Here are some well-known K-sounding names from TNG: Picard, Riker, Crusher, Pulaski, Kahless, K'Ehleyr, Q (a bit of a reach) and the Nausicans.

I'm not going to do an exhaustive review of names from the 179 episodes of The next Generation - that'd take more time than I have! But if you know of any character or race names that I can include here, let me know in the comments.

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