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Why is it spelled...?

Is there any reason some words are spelled with a "ch" at the beginning and some "que" at the end of the word to make the /k/ sound?

In nearly all cases the <ch> and <qu> spellings of [k] are a matter of etymology. The <ch> spelling regularly comes from the Greek, representing the Greek letter chi, which was usually transliterated as <ch> in Latin and subsequent languages. There are just a very few non-Greek words with [k] spelled <ch>, due to respellings and sound changes – as in ache, leprechaun, maraschino, and choir. Of the 69 words in my CommonWords database with [k]=<ch>, all are Greek, except for ache.

The <qu> spelling was introduced into English by Norman French scribes, who used it to replace Old English <cw>, so that OE cwene became Middle English queen . Today <qu> usually spells [kw], as in queen , in which cases the <u> is spelling [w], and the [k] is spelled simply <q>. There are 81 instances of [k]=<q> in CommonWords. But in some words the <u> fell silent, as in unique and turquoise . The <qu> spelling of [k] is rarer than the <q> spelling and is often the final consonant in the word. There are only eight instances of [k]=<qu> in CommonWords.

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