What is a Kudo, as in “Kudos to You”?
First, it should be noted that “kudos” is not the plural form of “kudo”, so a “kudo” was once technically nothing. However, because so many people in the last century, mainly in the United States, have thought kudos was plural, in some dictionaries today “kudo” is considered a valid word meaning the same thing as kudos (yet another word created via back-formation).
To answer your question, kudos in English means:
1) Praise / Accolades
2) Credit for one’s achievements
The word “kudos” comes from the Greek κῦδος (kudos), meaning “glory” or “fame”. The “-os” ending in Greek typically indicates a singular noun and is supposed to be pronounced like “-ose”, rather than “-oze”, as many Americans usually pronounce it, “koo-doze”, or as a lot of British people tend to pronounce it “-oss”, “cue-doss”.
The word made its way into English around the late 18th century / early 19th century, meaning pretty much the same thing as it means today. The first documented instance of the “singular” word “kudo” didn’t pop up until 1926.
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HOW FASCINATING. GREAT ARTICLE, THANK YOU.
[Remembers to turn off caps lock] How fascinating. What a great article. Thank you!
Tree years… Better later than never, Grammar Nazi
Don’t forget to end your sentence with a full-stop.
Kudos to you, Grammar Nazi.
Helping people improve their grammar and spelling skills is a thankless job at best, but some of us do it nonetheless.
Perhaps we may even manage to make a difference in the long run.
In the mid-90s ‘kudos’ would still roll people back on their heels and make them squinch up their faces as if to say the speaker had lost his mind. Anyway, that’s when I began using it, then stopped and never used it again. ‘Bravo’ means the same thing, and sounds much nicer.