Eek vs. Eke
The origin of this interjection probably lies in cartoon world, when the heroine jumped up on a chair and shrieked, “Eek! A mouse!” These days it’s still an informal, usually
humorous expression of anxiety. Think of it as a “lite,” high-pitched shriek.
Example: Terri looked up from her keyboard and spotted a spider perched on top of her moniter. She jumped up and said, “Eek! A spider!” And then there’s Eek! It’s Eczema! Or how about this: Jason looks out his patio door and says, “Eek! Warthogs! Eew!” (We’ll talk about “Eew another time.)
“Eke,” on the other hand, is a much older word. It’s generally used with the word “out, and usually tied in with doing these things with great difficulty. “Eke” does not mean “endure.”
Examples: The husband and wife worked hard, but barely eked out a living…Arriving in Bermuda, Jonathan found he only had four pills for a nine-day stay. He decided to eke them out.
How about “eek” as an acronym. This is a dandy site: