Waked up, woked up?

“Something that drives me crazy is the word ‘awake,’” a reader in California wrote to me. “I hear newscasters saying, ‘I was woked up. He woked me up. I was waked up, wokened up.’”

This issue gets tricky. According to Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, “wake” gives you a number of past-tense forms to choose from.

For the simple past tense, Merriam-Webster’s prefers “woke.” But it also recognizes “waked.”

Yesterday I woke.

Yesterday I waked.

And, yes, you can use “up” if you want to with any of these, according to Webster’s.

Yesterday I woke up.

Yesterday I waked up.

As for the past participles, Webster’s allows three forms. (Remember that past participles the ones that work with forms of “have.”) For wake, the preferred past participle is “woken.” But they also allow “waked” and “woke.”

In the past I have woken.

In the past I have waked.

In the past I have woke.

In the past I have woken up.

In the past I have waked up.

In the past I have woke up.

There is no “woked.” But it’s not wrong to say “I was waked up.”

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