I've noticed that the pronunciations of "picked" gives its sound like "pick" with final sound "d" but for "Crooked" and "Naked" Why do they pronounce them like "Crook-ked" and "Nake-ked"?

How can I know when i must pronounce the word like "picked" and when I must pronounce the word like "Crooked"?

  • 4
    Just to throw more confusion into the mix, a crooked finger is different from a crooked finger (pronounce those different ways).
    – Andrew Leach
    Aug 14, 2013 at 18:51
  • @AndrewLeach Normally, I just remember that how people pronounce the words but for this case i just doubt that are there any rules that can explain it? but if not you can give me an answer like put some examples for the words' final sound like "ked" and "d" just for comparison because now i know only two words that pronounce final sound like "ked". Can you give me more examples? Thank you.
    – fronthem
    Aug 14, 2013 at 19:07

3 Answers 3


Perhaps because of the well-known nursery rhyme.

There was a crook-ed man, and he walked a crook-ed mile
He found a crook-ed sixpence, on a crook-ed style

... and so forth.

The metre of the nursery rhyme demands the separation of the syllables, and as many of us were/are exposed to this as small children, perhaps it never occurs to us that crook-ed is really the same word as crooked. After all - how commonly do you come across the word in other contexts?


Adjectives whose first syllable end with a /k/ sound and whose second syllable ends with /ɪd/ are rare but they do exist.

  • crooked (adj) /krʊkɪd/ a crooked path; All politicians are crooked

  • naked /'neɪkɪd/

  • wicked /ˈwɪkɪd/

  • sacred /ˈseɪkrɪd

However, verbs ending with "k" if they are regular, take "ed" in the simple past and are normally pronounced thus:

  • crooked (verb) /krʊkt/ He crooked his finger at me

  • walked /wɔːkt/

    talked /tɔːkt/

    kicked /kɪkt/

    cooked /kʊkt/

    asked /ɑːskt/

    worked /wɜːkt/


In most cases, I believe it has something to do with the construction of the word.

If the normal form of the word (crook, twist) ends in t or d, the -ed is enunciated (such as wanted or bedded).

All other normal form word endings, however, are not voiced. The -e in the past simple and past participle forms is not enunciated (for example, watched, played, liked).

Crooked, however, seems to be one of English's many exceptions. When used as an adjective, such as

his crooked neck,

the -e in -ed is voiced. Perhaps you can find other exceptions to this rule, but they escape me at the moment.

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