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  1. Mehrgan's Avatar
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    #1

    Question "to get brownie points with someone'?

    Hi there,
    Is with the preposition we use in the idiom 'to get brownie points'?

    Any synonyms to this idiom?


    Thanks.
    Last edited by Mehrgan; 13-Feb-2011 at 19:09.

  2. BobK's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: "to get brownie points with someone'?

    With and for - WITH the beneficiary (also among or in the eyes of), FOR (also by) <thing-done>: He got brownie points with his parents for cutting the grass.

    You can also 'get into somebody's good books' by doing something, or just 'suck up to them'. Depending on the context, you may become 'teacher's pet' - in the eyes of people who resent the good impression you're making. (This one doesn't work only in school; sucking up to your boss may qualify you for 'teacher's pet' status! )

    b

  3. Mehrgan's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: "to get brownie points with someone'?

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    With and for - WITH the beneficiary (also among or in the eyes of), FOR (also by) <thing-done>: He got brownie points with his parents for cutting the grass.

    You can also 'get into somebody's good books' by doing something, or just 'suck up to them'. Depending on the context, you may become 'teacher's pet' - in the eyes of people who resent the good impression you're making. (This one doesn't work only in school; sucking up to your boss may qualify you for 'teacher's pet' status! )

    b

    Ta! And I'd say you have a way with words dear Bobk! (To get brownie points with you! )

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    #4

    Re: "to get brownie points with someone'?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mehrgan View Post
    Ta! And I'd say you have a way with words dear Bobk! (To get brownie points with you! )
    I'm not familiar with that expression. What does it mean?

  4. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: "to get brownie points with someone'?

    The phrase "you have a way with words" means that you speak/write well and/or that you use your words in a way that communicates your message in an engaging/entertaining/though-provoking way.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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    #6

    Re: "to get brownie points with someone'?

    Quote Originally Posted by ostap77 View Post
    I'm not familiar with that expression. What does it mean?
    I am not a teacher.

    As usual with such expressions, the origin is a matter of conjecture. As I understand it, and I am always right, the root of the expression is "brown nose", a vulgar reference to the act of kissing someone's buttocks, the brown being feces incidentally deposited on the nose of the kisser in the act. A sycophant can be called a "brown-nose" or "brown-noser", and the points he gets are therefore brownie points. In English, to kiss someone's ass (American English) is to defer to them or flatter them or otherwise behave obsequiously toward them. This is all dirty slang, not suitable for civilized company, but "brownie points" is so far removed from its origins that it is considered merely dopey and not especially crass.

  5. BobK's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: "to get brownie points with someone'?

    I've heard that explanation. I've also heard that it might have something to with 'The Brownies' - young Girl Scouts (or Girl Guides as they were in my sisters' day). Brownies collect points for 'doing a good turn to somebody every day' (in the words of the Brownie Promise). I don't know which story is more likely, but I know which one is better to mention at a vicarage tea party!

    b

  6. BobK's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: "to get brownie points with someone'?

    - got my promises mixed up. Sex discrimination started early:

    boys: Wolf Cub Promise - '...to do a good turn to somebody every day'
    girls: Brownie Promise - '...to help other people every day, especially those at home'

    b

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