I've looked through the definitions of kudos and props:

According to Cambridge Dictionary, the definition of kudos is the public admiration that a person receives as a result of a particular achievement or position in society, whilst props means respect for someone.

So, "kudos" connotes approval and admiration, and "props" implies respect.

However, I'm wondering if there are any cases in which one of them are fine to employ while the other would be inappropriate or wrong to use in the same sentence.

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    I doubt there's a dime's worth of difference between the two beyond the fact that "props" is more colloquial. – Robusto Mar 19 '19 at 19:12
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    I've never heard this in the UK. The Cambridge dictionary says it's mainly used in the US. I would agree with them. – BoldBen Mar 19 '19 at 19:23
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    Props. I've never heard the word used in this context. – Kate Bunting Mar 19 '19 at 19:47
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    I'm British living in the US - Props is colloquially used here, yes. It's very colloquial, and set a distinctly casual tone to whatever it's injected into; equally, in the US, kudos is rarely used colloquially (though I use it) and pushes up the register wherever it's used, probably because it implies both multilingualism and a familiarity with classical education. – GerardFalla Mar 19 '19 at 20:18
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    @GerardFalla I disagree very much with your assessment of kudos. I was quite surprised when I first looked up the word to discover that it was Greek, because I’d only ever heard it used very colloquially. I certainly never associated it with education or multilingualism. It’s like when I discovered that the colloquial expression I’d always thought of as bonified or something like that was actually Latin and spelt bona fide – very surprised! – Janus Bahs Jacquet Mar 19 '19 at 22:36

The main difference is in how formal it comes across.

"Kudos" is considered a 'real' word while "props" is considered slang but neither are very formal.https://www.etymonline.com/word/kudos

"Kudos", usually used as an interjection like 'congratulations', comes from UK university slang, which means by now it is fairly formal. For example:

Kudos! Your excellent presentation to the CEO will really have you climbing the org chart!

"Props", short for 'proper respects', comes from US hip hop slang, so it is more easily recognized there than in the UK.

Gotta give props to that kid for that stunt. When does he get out of the hospital?

As someone on reddit said:

"Props is for friends, kudos is for work."

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  • reditor? can you give a link? – Mitch Mar 19 '19 at 23:45
  • @Mitch Here it is: reddit.com/r/NoStupidQuestions/comments/77l9ve/props_vs_kudos/… – Mike Mar 20 '19 at 17:44
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    Full disclosure: 'kudos' is on my personal list of 'cringe-worthy words'. There was also a candy bar named Kudos a while ago. Nothing about that word seems right to me. – Mitch Mar 21 '19 at 13:15
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    BTW, props sometimes implies support (social support, like keep up the good work). – KannE Mar 21 '19 at 14:53
  • @Mitch If you're going to change my answer that much you might as well post a new answer ;) – Mike Mar 21 '19 at 22:14

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