Brownie points are imaginary merit points awarded for the performance of good deeds or favors, it is usually a derogatory term. The singular form, brownie point, is rarely seen. The most probable source of the noun brownie point is the Girl Scout and Girl Guide rank of Brownie. Brownies were named for the helpful Scottish elf who secretly does chores for worthy humans. Brownie Girl Scouts and Girl Guides could earn merit badges by doing small tasks around the home, earning Brownie Points and pleasing adults. The term brownie points is now used figuratively, independent of the Girl Scout organization, and is no longer capitalized.
I wasn’t seeking any social justice brownie points or trying to feel better about myself because I protested. (The Napa Valley Register)
The current crop of would-be councillors have made some equally cringeworthy attempts to score brownie points with voters. (The South China Morning Post)
This progress will also win Brownie points for the agent with the vendor and creates the room for the agent to turn to the other important part of their role – vendor expectation management. (The Australian Financial Review)
“I would advise parents not to succumb to the emotional pressure of trying to win approval, score brownie points or compete with other parents, but rather to think of who has interacted the most with your child and who the child considers ‘special’,” explains Donna. (The Mirror)
The food-health connect which earns him brownie points, is not new and has been growing in Kerala. (The Hindu)
As a Christian, I shudder to think how it must feel to see my religion vilified for political brownie points. (Forbes Magazine)