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An informal and intangible mark of credit or approval, as from having done a good deed or by ingratiating oneself to others (especially one's superiors). Usually used in the plural. The company earned brownie points with the community for contributing part of their yearly earnings toward local development. You might get brownie points from the boss for volunteering to do things around the office, but it won't translate into a pay raise or promotion.
earn brownie points
To elicit praise. I think I'll earn some brownie points with my mom if I set the table for Thanksgiving dinner.
Credit for a good deed, as in John earned a lot of brownie points for doing his boss's report for him. The term originated with the points earned for various achievements by the youngest group of the Girl Scouts, called Brownies. In the mid-1900s it was transferred to general use.
COMMON If someone gets brownie points for doing something, they are praised and admired for it. You might want to earn brownie points by fitting in with the local traditions. These promotions allow supermarkets to score brownie points with the consumer by offering them a cheap deal. Note: The Brownies is an organization for young girls. Members are expected to be well-behaved and helpful.
n. imaginary credit for doing something well. (Originally “demerits” in railroading.) How many brownie points do I get for not frowning when you take my picture?
1. and brownie and brown-noser n. a sycophant; one who flatters for self-serving motives. You are just a plain old brown-nose. Will some brown-noser please try to get the teacher to put off the test?
2. tv. & in. to curry favor with someone; to be a sycophant. Don keeps brown-nosing, and the professor pretends not to notice.