Word of the Day : January 11, 2012


noun KOO-dahss


1 : fame and renown resulting from an act or achievement : prestige

2 : praise given for achievement

Did You Know?

Deriving from Greek, "kudos" entered English as slang popular at British universities in the 19th century. In its earliest use, the word referred to the prestige or renown that one gained by having accomplished something noteworthy. The sense meaning "praise given for achievement" came about in the 1920s. As this later sense became the predominant one, some English speakers, unaware of the word's Greek origin, began to treat it as a plural count noun, inevitably coming up with the back-formation "kudo" to refer to a single instance of praise. For the same reason, when "kudos" is used as a subject you may see it with either a singular or plural verb.


"I'd like to be a widow. Then I'd have the freedom of the unmarried, with the kudos of the married. I could eat my cake and have it, too. Oh, to be a widow!" -- From Lucy Maud Montgomery’s short story "The End of a Quarrel," in Chronicles of Avonlea (1912)

"Making the playoffs is an achievement that deserves kudos, but getting this far isn't enough -- the real goal is to win championships, and the best way to do that is to continually look to upgrade your team." -- From an article by KC Joyner on ESPN.com, December 6, 2011

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