What is the meaning, origin, and usage of Kudos? When was the first time the word Kudos was used? Let’s discover together!
1. Kudos Origin
Kudos is a word used to express appreciation. It is a term of recognition used when someone does something remarkable. It is believed to have derived from the Ancient Greek word Kydos (κῦδος), which has been traced throughout Greek literature and history, referring to accomplishments. Kydos, both in Ancient and Modern Greek, is harnessed as a singular noun that means praise or glory. The Iliad and the Odyssey by Homer are two great examples showcasing the use of kudos in Ancient Greece. (See Do You Know The Greek Alphabet?)
2. Kudos Meaning
Kudos refers to fame, prestige, or honor earned through acts of kindness, sublime achievement, or good behavior. Kudos is a word that has been erroneously pluralized, but it’s actually an uncountable noun. In the original Greek language, the word was used as a singular noun and it is only a coincidence that it imitates a plural English noun. In modern English, many argue that Kudo is the correct singular form, however, it isn’t.
3. Kudos Usage
Kudos to you is an expression used when someone does something impressive with their skillset. (See What’s A Better Way To Say I Appreciate It?)
Below are some examples of how and when the term kudos is used:
- Kudos to her for standing up for herself.
- He received kudos for performing exceptionally.
- They received kudos of approval from the judges.
- It still works, which is a major kudos to the manufacturer.
- More kudos must go to the football team.
- She gets huge kudos from me for working diligently.
4. History of Kudos
The word kudos made its way into the English language meaning pretty much the same thing as today. Kudos origin comes from the Greek word kydos which means magical glory. In its earliest use, the word referred to the prestige or renown that one gained by making a noteworthy accomplishment.
- Etymologically singular, the word was adopted by British English as slang or jargon in the late 18th century in academic circles. It later on took a turn and got labeled as a plural noun in modern English.
- The word didn’t gain its popularity until the 1920s when American journalists found an interest in the meaning and began using it in famous newspapers and magazines such as Time magazine. The meaning praise given for achievement came about during this time. (See True Basket Case Definition)
5. Common Misconceptions
Kudos has often been treated as a plural noun in recent times, giving rise to an erroneous singular version kudo. This misconception follows almost the same pattern as the English words pea (Middle English peas) and cherry (French cerise) as they were shortened after mistakenly deemed as plural words. The misunderstanding came from English speakers who were unaware of the word’s Greek origin and began treating it as a plural noun. (See What is the meaning of the word “fugazy”?)