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How Many Ways Can You Spell Derrick / Derek / Daryk

Updated on November 28, 2016
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P. Williams has a background in statistical analysis and has always been fascinated by the origins of names.

Fictional Derek: Derek Zoolander
Fictional Derek: Derek Zoolander

Derek / Derrick is a popular, strong masculine name for males. With its hard d and k sounds, it evokes power and charisma. One of the drawbacks of this name, however, is that there are a multitude of ways to spell it. If your name is Derek, Derrick, or some other variation, you're probably asked how to spell it, or find yourself correcting people quite often.

Just how many ways can you spell Derek? If you use an elegant mathematical trick you will discover there are 336 plausible ways of spelling Derek or Derrick. (In comparison, there are 288 ways to spell Catherine.) Doing it the mathematical way is easier than trying to count all the names by sheer enumeration, that is, writing down all the possible spellings one by one and tallying them. Here we show how to count them mathematically as well as discuss the meaning of the name and the most popular spellings.


How to Count the Spelling Variations of Derek Systematically

As in my other tutorials on counting the number of spellings of a name, the first step is to break up the name into sound components that can be spelled differently. For Derek, there are four components admitting multiple spellings: "De," "r," "e," and "k." The total number of possible spellings of Derek is the product of the number of ways to spell each component. These variations are listed in the table below. Since the second vowel sound is the unstressed schwa sound, it can be represented by any vowel, hence the six choices.

Ways to Spell the "De" Part
Ways to Spell the "r" Part
Ways to Spell the "e" Part
Ways to Spell the "k" Part
Da
r
a
c
De
rr
e
k
Dae
Total = 2
i
q
Dai
 
o
ck
Total = 4
 
u
cke
 
 
y
ch
 
 
Total = 6
cq
 
 
 
Total = 7

Since 4*2*6*7 = 336, there are 336 ways to spell Derek or Derrick. To concoct a particular spelling, just take one element from each of the four columns. For example, if you take "Dae," "rr," "y," and "q" you get the name "Daerryq." Granted, this is a pretty bizarre spelling, nonetheless it is a possible one. Here are some others that you can create:

Daric, Dairric, Derryk, Daricke, Derych, Derricq, Daerok, Derac, Derruk


Meaning of the Name Derek or Derrick

Derek is derived from the Teutonic or Germanic name Diderik, which is in turn derived from the Germanic name Theodoric. Theodoric is unrelated to the Greek name Theodore, their similarity is mere coincidence. Theodoric means ruler of the people, while Theodore means gift of God. Other names related to Diderik include Dirk, Dieter, Dietrich, and the French name Thierry.

The mechanical object called a "derrick" is named for Thomas Derrick. In regions where oil derricks are a common sight, the spelling "Derrick" is slightly more popular.



Most Common Spellings of Derek and Derrick

According to data compiled by the US Census Bureau and other vital records, the most common spellings of the name Derek are:

Rank
Name
Fraction of People in US Currently Named This
Peak Popularity as a Baby Name
1
Derek
1 in 1264
1970, 1980-1987
2
Derrick
1 in 2023
1970, 1980
3
Derick
1 in 15871
1980,1990
4
Darrick
1 in 35159
1971, 1978
5
Dereck
1 in 50242
1980-1990, 2010
6
Derik
1 in 54408
1980-1987
7
Deric
1 in 62825
1980
8
Derrek
1 in 96650
1989
Derek Jeter
Derek Jeter

Famous Dereks and Derricks

  • Derek Jeter - Baseball player for the New York Yankees
  • Deryck Whibley - Canadian musician
  • Derrick Sherwin - British producer, actor, and writer best known for the hit series Dr. Who
  • Derrick Lehmer - Important American mathematician working in number theory
  • Derek Zoolander - Fictional character from movie Zoolander starring Ben Stiller
  • Derek Noakes - Fictional character in the TV series Derek, portrayed by Ricky Gervais


Places Named Derek and Variants Thereof

  • Derik, Turkey - Municipal district in southeastern Anatolia
  • Derrick City, Pennsylvania


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    • travelervisa profile image

      omar moamen 2 months ago from cairo

      i like your post thank you

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