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December 5, 2019

Word of the Day: Kudos

2 CQ

Word of the Day : February 24, 2017

kudos \KOO-dahss\ noun


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

2 : praise given for achievement


"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!" — Lucy Maud Montgomery, "The End of a Quarrel," 1912

"But Kraft deserves kudos for the way he has allowed Belichick to do his job. A man that is obsessed with public relations, he has gotten out of the way when it comes to running the football operations." — Bill Burt, The Eagle-Tribune (Massachusetts), 23 Jan. 2017

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 the word 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.

Aired February 24, 2017

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