New development in backformed "kudo"

Neal Whitman nwhitman at AMERITECH.NET
Mon Oct 1 13:27:42 UTC 2012

I see that backformed "kudo" has come up a number of times; the earliest
message I get is this one, which nonetheless alludes to even earlier

Anyway, the earlier posts mention properties other than the obvious lack of
a final <s> to recognize that the backformation has taken place: the
pronunciation of the <s> in "kudos" as [z], as if it were the plural marker;
the accompanying lengthening of of the /o/. Now, in the October 5 issue of
Entertainment Weekly, another development of backformed "kudo": use as the
nonhead part of a compound:

"The last time nipple covers, shrimp truckers, and demented garden gnomes
were mentioned during an Emmy telecast was the year 19 hundred and ...
never. But that's what made the 64th annual kudofest on Sept. 23 so
engrossing--if a tad bewildering."
Best and Worst of the Awards, Lynette Rice, p. 21

In COCA, there are two more kudo-compounds, both also from EW, about other
awards shows:

He predicts a shiny night for four-Buckle nominee Brad Paisley, forecasts
Sugarland to win Video of the Year for " All I Want to Do, " and believes
that this kudocast will appeal to those beyond the country-fried set. (2009)

If you loved seeing Jack Black (above) rock the children silly on the big
screen, you might contract a case of the giggles watching him host this
kiddie kudocast (say that 10 times fast). (2006)


The American Dialect Society -

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