The Meaning of Kudos

Is there such a thing as a “kudo”?

Mignon Fogarty
1-minute read


Following last week’s quick and dirty tip about the word congratulations, it seemed like a good time to share a tip about the word kudos from my book 101 Troublesome Words.

What’s the trouble? Some people mistakenly believe that kudos is plural.

Kudos means “praise” or “glory” and is often used where “congratulations” would fit too. It comes directly from Greek and is singular—singular!—just as the words praise and glory are singular. However, because kudos ends in S and congratulations is plural, some people mistakenly believe that kudos is plural and use kudo as a singular form. That’s just wrong.

 What Should You Do? Use kudos, never kudo. If you can’t remember the difference, or you think that sentences that treat kudos as singular sound weird—like Kudos is in order—stick with congratulations.



Get more tips like this in Grammar Girl's 101 Troublesome Words You'll Master in No Time:

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Kudos image courtesy of Shutterstock.

About the Author

Mignon Fogarty

Mignon Fogarty is the founder of Quick and Dirty Tips and the author of seven books on language, including the New York Times bestseller "Grammar Girl's Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing." She is an inductee in the Podcasting Hall of Fame, and the show is a five-time winner of Best Education Podcast in the Podcast Awards. She has appeared as a guest expert on the Oprah Winfrey Show and the Today Show. Her popular LinkedIn Learning courses help people write better to communicate better.