Is kudos to be used to wish somebody for only an event that happened to them in the past, or can you also use kudos for an event which is going to happen in the near future?

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    I expect shortly that you will receive kudos for your perceptive question. Just remember that you may not receive a "kudo" any more than you can eat a gyro.
    – deadrat
    Sep 26, 2015 at 23:37
  • Kudos is for congratulations (the past); you can use good luck for the future.
    – Dan Bron
    Sep 26, 2015 at 23:37
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    I think you could use it for the future, "Kudos to you if you figure that out." Oct 27, 2015 at 4:59
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    You can always say "Kudos in advance".
    – Hot Licks
    Dec 26, 2015 at 15:13
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    I thought this is interesting: Some commentators hold that since kudos is a singular word it cannot be used as a plural and that the word kudo is impossible. But kudo does exist; it is simply one of the most recent words created by back-formation from another word misunderstood as a plural. Kudos was introduced into English in the 19th century; it was used in contexts where a reader unfamiliar with Greek could not be sure whether it was singular or plural.
    – Hot Licks
    Dec 26, 2015 at 15:16

3 Answers 3


I don't see any problem with anticipating that someone will receive kudos for a future event. That's how the word is handled in Jon Edney & William Arbaugh, Real 802.11 Security: Wi-Fi Protected Access and 802.11i (2004):

When a method is deployed in the public eye, both hackers and legitimate security researchers will receive kudos if they can break the system. For example, when IEEE 802.11 WEP was broken, the story reached national newspapers, and the researchers who discovered the cracks attracted much attention.

And in Ram Charan, ‎Stephen Drotter & ‎James Noel, The Leadership Pipeline: How to Build the Leadership-Powered Company (2001):

Any company that can avoid getting into a bidding war for talent and "grow their own" will see direct bottom-line impact, and CEOs responsible for this new leadership approach will receive kudos from various stakeholders. Leadership strength is well understood to be a prime driver of share price.

And in Kenneth Bailey, Jacob & the Prodigal: How Jesus Retold Israel's Story (2003):

Will the guests first congratulate the father or the prodigal? Will the father receive kudos while his son, embarrassed and nervous, stands behind him? Or will the guests congratulate the son with the father smiling in the background?

And in the horoscope section of Latina magazine (2003) [combined snippets]:

AQUARIUS JAN. 20–FEB. 18 Your hormones will be quite active. You will smite many hearts and receive kudos at work. Take advantage of this glorious period to study, travel, and explore your spirituality. ...

ARIES MAR. 21–APR. 19 The chance for a serious and lasting relationship comes into your life. You will receive kudos in your profession. Everything will turn out better than expected.

And similarly, with regard to giving kudos, we have this example from Recruiter Journal (2001), a publication that doesn't seem to be especially well edited:

Kudos Korner Each month we will give Kudos to recognize the good work that is done in the field. This months Kudos go to the following: [list of recognized brigades omitted]

And this (better) one from The News (March 24, 1997), a Nigerian periodical:

Whether the new transformation and downsizing would boost the company's failing fortunes remains to be seen but its managing director once boasted that at the end of the task, members of the public and UTC's numerous shareholders will give kudos to the management team. Will the kudos ever come?

On the other hand, offering someone "kudos on the novel that you're about to start writing" seems fatally premature.


As others have stated, kudos is generally for an event that has already occurred. You might want to review the text of some greeting card messages.

For example, here are some ideas for a wedding card: https://www.theknot.com/content/wedding-wishes-what-to-write-in-a-wedding-card


Merriam-Webster defines kudos as

2. praise given for achievement

Kudos are given for something you've already done, not something you haven't done yet.

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