A while back, I commented on someone’s post on this blog by saying kudos. Beate, our resident linguist, sent me a friendly email asking about the origin and exact meaning of the word. I realized I know generally that kudos means accolades – kind of like good job or well done (sounds like a turkey, doesn’t it?). Beate and I exchanged a few more emails, had some fun playing with the word and then I forgot all about it until a couple of days ago when I left a comment on Lis’s post about winning contests, ending with … you guessed it … kudos. I decided if I was going to use (over-use?) the word, I really should know more about it.
Kudos comes from the Greek kydos. It entered the English language in the 19th century as a singular noun and (as I’m pretty sure you know) means praise, honor or accolades. The internet being a seemingly endless source of information, I discovered that kudos is also a Finish word meaning fabric (textile) or tissue (cell), from the verb kutoa (to knit or weave). Aren’t you glad you know that?
The point of all this? I’m not sure. Maybe it’s as simple as I waste too much time on trivial things. Maybe it’s proof that I need to broaden my vocabulary, which, by the way, will be easier now because, when I googled kudos, I discovered a new website: http://www.dictionary.com/ Check it out if you haven’t already done so. It’s a handy resource – and another way to waste time. (Some people watch soaps; some play video games; I browse dictionaries.)
One more thing about kudos: it is considered a singular noun – or at least it has been. My trusty internet sources tell me that the formerly frowned-upon kudo is entering the language. They even go so far as to predict that it will one day be accepted, as has the word pea (instead of pease) or cherry (instead of cherise). When I read that, I had the distinct feeling that whoever typed the information did so with a sigh and a disdainful lift of brow. As for me, I find it exciting that language is a living thing, constantly evolving to accommodate new ideas and changing to include words from other cultures and traditions.
And now – kudos to our own Elisabeth Rose on having won the Golden Quill award and to all of the other Avalon authors who have been finalists for various awards or whose books have garnered great reviews. No wonder I’ve been using kudos so much. There’s been a lot to celebrate.
Enough from me. I’d love to hear about your favorite words (and I know you have them).