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brownie points


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Choose the correct definition a, b or c.

a) a lot of calories

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b) an award

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A notional mark of achievement or kudos for performing some creditable act. ‘Brownie points’ are an amount of credit considered as earned, especially by favorably impressing a superior (teacher, boss, member of your family). Often used in the plural. Comes from the Brownie Guides (Girl scouts in England) who earn points for doing good deeds.

French translation

marquer des points, gagner des bons points, de la sympathie

How NOT to translate : *des points de brownies

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Examples in context

‘Week ahead at Westminster’

Then, a slot has been reserved for consideration of Lords amendments - I suspect this will be the chance for the Commons to respond to the government defeat in the Lords on pension rights for people with two or more low-paid jobs, inflicted by former minister Baroness Hollis. Then MPs have a chance to hold the general debate on the situation in Ukraine which many of them were demanding last week, and which the government seemed uninterested in scheduling. The leader of the House deserves some brownie points for listening and responding.’

BBC News, 14th March 2014

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‘The poor old FA Cup’

Some big names from British art have been at the inaugural Art Party Conference, an alternative political party conference that saw delegates chew over the state of culture and throw missiles at a likeness of Education Secretary Michael Gove. Asked why education was above arts funding cuts on the conference agenda, and why the art world’s usual bete noir, Culture Secretary Maria Miller, was not alongside Mr Gove on the coconut shy, Smith made a surprising admission - for an artist. He praised Ms Miller and her ministerial colleague Ed Vaizey, saying they deserved ‘brownie points’ for how they had "maintained arts spending to museums and galleries to some degree".

BBC News, 24th Nov. 2013

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Everyday usage

I can’t believe you did all that extra work. That is going to earn you so many brownie points !

If you help your parents with the washing and ironing, I am sure it will earn you some brownie points and you will be allowed to go out at the weekend.

Girls keep giving me brownie points for being a nice guy. At this point, I think I’d rather have actual brownies.

c) problematic issues

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