Lose brownie points

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Hello everyone,

Context: When somebody does something good or helpful, you say (in American or British English) that they scored brownie points from somebody else (= won praise, approval, credit). My question: does "lose brownie points" (= lose credit, praise, approval) - when you do something bad or wrong - sound natural/correct in the examples I made below?

a. John, you were rude and lost brownie points with me.
b. Don't say that or you'll lose brownie points with this girl.

Thank you in advance!
 
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  • cyberpedant

    Senior Member
    English USA, Northeast, NYC
    "To score brownie points" is a phrase often used with at least a modicum of disdain on the part of the speaker. You can't "score brownie points" from a person who is an equal or of lower status than yourself. I can't imagine saying either of your sentences to a friend.
    But there is some disagreement about this analysis. See this thread.
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    You can't "score brownie points" from a person who is an equal or of lower status than yourself.
    :thumbsup: Phrase origin: Little girls who are Brownies (a Girl Scouts/Girl Guides program for younger girls (about 10 years old I think)) earned Brownie points from their adult leader.
     
    Thank you for your answers.

    So, if I use "lose brownie points" in reference to somebody of higher status than me, it sounds correct? Right?

    Examples I made:

    a. John, you were rude and lost brownie points with the boss.
    b. Don't say that or you'll lose brownie points with your teacher.

    P.S.: I still don't know if "lose brownie points" could be used at all.

    Thank you in advance!
     
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    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    I usually hear people gaining brownie points. I cannot recall it used in the negative.

    This Wiki article gives more information about brownie points:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brownie_points

    Brownie points in modern usage are a hypothetical social currency, which can be acquired by doing good deeds or earning favor in the eyes of another, often one's superior.
     
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