Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Word of the day: kudos

Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day:

kudos   \KOO-dahss\   noun
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.

comments: 2

Elaine Fine said...

Gosh! I have been pronouncing it wrong for years!

Daughter Number Three said...

Darn those Greeks for not anticipating that "s" would be reserved for plurals in English.