In writing a question for Stack Exchange, I wanted to write a sentence similar to "To my credit, I did foo, bar, and baz," except foo, bar, and baz are bad things so they are actually the opposite of being to my credit. What is a the opposite of the phrase "to my credit"?

Possibilities I considered:

  • "That said..." - This is what I used, but it required me to rework my sentence somewhat.
  • "Not to my credit..." - Awkward.
  • "Against my credit..." - Might work, but I've never heard it used before.
  • "To my debt..." - Takes the credit/debt metaphor too far.
  • 4
    "However, I admit that", "Having said that", "On the flip side". Aug 15, 2014 at 18:34
  • 1
    The answer could, potentially, be as easy as, "to spite my code, I barred my line." Aug 15, 2014 at 22:39

4 Answers 4


An idiomatic phrase for this is “to my shame”. One might also say “To my discredit, I did ...”. Alternately, consider “Regrettably”, “Sadly”, or “Unfortunately” in place of a “To my ... phrase. These latter three forms are more general and less personal, which is suitable unless you wish to place blame or credit on someone. “Regrettably” seems like a good choice.

The rest of this answer considers, via Google Ngrams, historical incidence of “To my ... phrases. While ngram statistics are not gospel truth (due to confounding with out-of-context searched phrases) they are the most righteous data easily available.

A Google Ngrams for six phrases (see below) shows that to my shame has appeared in print 3 to 4 times more frequently than the next most frequent phrase.

The six phrases treated in the link above are to my shame, to my detriment and to my discredit, plus those phrases with To instead of to.

The Google Ngrams picture shown below covers a shorter period than the first Ngrams link, making it easier to interpret. NGrams picture mentioned in text

Another useful Ngrams covers the phrases my detriment, my shame, my discredit, my sorrow, my chagrin.

  • 10
    "To my shame" carries a bit more of an emotional connotation that I was intending to convey, but it and "to my discredit" are both good suggestions. Unfortunately, it seems I can't upvote yet, sorry!
    – Drake
    Aug 15, 2014 at 18:52
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    @Drake: Erm... I think in these contexts, shame is effectively the "opposite" to credit. It's not a matter of "emotional" connotations - simply positive/negative. Aug 15, 2014 at 18:56
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    +1 for "to my discredit," which I like becase it explicitly name-checks the more common expression you're riffing on.
    – Vectornaut
    Aug 15, 2014 at 22:08
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    @FumbleFingers: I disagree. To see this better, compare "to his credit" vs. "to his shame": "to his credit" means that I, the speaker, feel positively about what he did, whereas "to his shame" means that he feels ashamed of what he did.
    – ruakh
    Aug 16, 2014 at 1:02
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    @FumbleFingers: My point is that "to my shame" is emotional in a way that "to my credit" is not. I brought up the "his" in order to make this obvious. (But I like your idea that, in describing an emotion, it's "splitting hairs" to care about who's having the emotion. "Why are you still mad at me? I already said someone was sorry!")
    – ruakh
    Aug 16, 2014 at 16:28

To my chagrin, which Merriam-Webster defines as


a feeling of being frustrated or annoyed because of failure or disappointment

The Google Ngram shows that "To my chagrin" was (until recently) a little more popular then "To my shame". However both are currently behind the Latin phrase mea culpa which means "Through my fault".

  • 2
    Being unable to upvote all these great answers is very frustrating.
    – Drake
    Aug 15, 2014 at 19:09
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    It's important to notice that chagrin does not confer any responsibility to the speaker, whereas shame does. I think the OP is looking for a term which specifically implicates his misdoing.
    – Daniel
    Aug 15, 2014 at 23:25
  • @Dan Mea culpa! Aug 15, 2014 at 23:47
  • @Drake Looks like that isn't a problem any more! Aug 17, 2014 at 2:06
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    In context -- "To my chagrin, I [did x]" -- it should be clear that they are taking responsibility. Anyway, I think this fits far better than "shame" (for the reasons given by commenters).
    – Frank
    Aug 17, 2014 at 2:09

"To my detriment".

Full Definition of DETRIMENT
1 : injury, damage
2 : a cause of injury or damage

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    Of all the suggestions here, "to my detriment" is definitely the one I'd be most likely to use. (Native BrE speaker)
    – GMA
    Aug 16, 2014 at 10:57
  • Same here (Native AmE speaker)
    – nomen
    Aug 17, 2014 at 5:28

Popular with young people right now is: My Bad as in: My bad; I did foo, bar, and baz,"

If you you're working with software engineers, you might want to keep you writing young and hip. There's no room for old software engineers as I'm finding out :)

"There are old programmers, and there are bold programmers, but there are no old, bold programmers". Blatantly plagiarized from Chuck Yeager.


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