To give someone props is to pay respect, often reluctantly, with newfound appreciation, or with implicit acknowledgement that the respect is long overdue. It’s a new noun of American origin, dating from the 1980s, and it was probably originally short for proper respect. It’s usually treated as plural.
Several dictionaries list props as African-American slang, but the word is used widely—albeit mostly in informal contexts—and it has survived nearly 30 years, so it might someday outgrow the slang designation.
He gave props to his wife and kids for their ongoing support. [OK Magazine]
Boucher is an enthusiastic fan of everything she picks out, even giving props to Justin Bieber. [Prefix]
Fay and company give props to those poor, maligned “sexually aggressive, racist, homophobic, misogynistic, cowardly, illiterate, waste of human skin” that make the comments sections of our lives so colorful. [Salon]
Let us pause to give props to both the National Theatre of Great Britain, the company behind this production. [NBC Los Angeles]
The University of Miami will give props to its second-ever national championship team – the undefeated 1987 Hurricanes – on Saturday October 20th. [All Canes]