I believe I first heard the word "kudos" when I was junior high school. My friend Jason and I were talking about comic books in P.E. class and the conversation turned to the Canadian superhero series Captain Canuck.

"The letters people wrote to the editor always said 'kudos'," Jason remembered. "Like, 'Kudos on the fine artwork and story in your wonderful comic.'"


"Yeah, like 'congratulations'. It must be a Canadian thing."

For years afterward, whenever I used the word 'kudos' I always explained that it was of Canadian origin, and when I talked to someone from Canada I made sure to use that word in place of 'congratulations' so as to make them feel comfortable.