Monday, 11 November 2013

Brownie - Gobblin' Brownies & Brownie Goblins

What's four times better than a chocolate brownie?
(photo by LJ42)


Noun. In sense 4 also B-. Early 16th century.
[from BROWN adjective + -IE.]

1 A benevolent goblin, supposed to haunt old houses (especially farmhouses in Scotland)
and occasionally to do household work secretly. E16

2(a) A sweet currant-bread. Australian & New Zealand. L19

2(b) A small square of rich (usually chocolate) cake containing nuts. North American. L19

3 (An angler's name for) a trout. E20

4 A member of the junior branch of the Guides. E20

In combination: brownie point a credit for an achievement. 

I do like the word brownie. Not only does it come from one of the most earthly and sensuous colours, but it means some rather fabulous things. Who can resist, for example, a freshly baked brownie, straight from the oven, still gooey in the middle and served with a dollop of cream and a steaming cup of tea? And if you're lucky enough to be haunted by brownies, you don't even need to worry about cleaning up the dishes as these helpful little goblins will clear up after you. And don't scoff - rather than just being the stuff of fairy tales, I can attest to the reality of brownies, as every house I've lived in for the past ten or so years has been haunted by one. No matter what clothes I leave lying around, or what dishes I leave in the sink, something magically clears them all away. If that's what's involved in being haunted by a brownie, then I say haunt on, boys. When I think about it, these supernatural occurrences all started around the time I got married. I would ask my wife about it, but I really don't want to freak her out ...
A brownie of the goblin variety

Is there a brownie in your life?

Are you a brownie?

Do please leave your most magical comments below.


  1. I was a brownie! I sold Girl Scout cookies and learned... well I'm not sure I learned much of anything. But I did have the nice little uniform.

    And I've always been one for benevolent hauntings.

    1. I vote that it be your Blogger profile picture Katie : o )

  2. I think I'm slowly turning into a brownie. I can only hope it'll be the delicious kind.

    1. That's a given.

      Thanks for all the comments on the blog, Ed :) You can go to a convention too, if you'd like. My friend says there's a big one in London. Just turn it into a long weekend!

  3. What are these brownies you talk of?
    Can one order one up to haunt one's house?
    I am in dire need of one.
    Yesterday would be good!

    1. I don't know how I happened upon one, Jingles, but I am ever so ever so grateful ...

      *carelessly tosses his trousers on the floor as he heads to bed*

    2. Sadly, Jingles, brownies, like Sock Sprites and Pants Pixies, only ever seem to pick up after children and men.

    3. Is that what's called positive discrimination?

  4. I find the thought of a little goblin like creature, called such a cute brownie name or not, cleaning up after me rather unsettling...

    On another note, I wonder if the little creatures enjoy the taste of a brownie or if it seems simply horrific to eat one's namesake.

    1. Aww ... but look at his little face! How could that ever be unsettling?

      And I read, by the way, that they're partial to porridge and honey, and it's left as "compensation" for their labours. But don't ever call it "payment", or they'll stop working.

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