What Does the Expression “Earn Brownie Points” Mean and Where Did Scottish Brownies Come From?

The original “brownies” are little Scottish elves, wee brown men, who are believed to fix things and help out around farms when everyone is asleep.

They were the inspiration for the name Lord Baden-Powell’s sister, Agnes, gave to the branch of Scouts that serves younger girls from six through eight years of age.

Brownie points are those accumulated by the girls for good deeds.

Enough Brownie points earns a reward or significant badge of honor.

The first modern use of the phrase “brownie points” was in 1951 when scoring them was offered as a strategy of good deeds for men to stay out of trouble with their wives.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

Leave a Comment