In writing a question for Programmers StackExchange, 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.
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    "However, I admit that", "Having said that", "On the flip side". – Manish Giri Aug 15 '14 at 18:34
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    The answer could, potentially, be as easy as, "to spite my code, I barred my line." – TheGenesisBloke Aug 15 '14 at 22:39

An idiomatic phrase for this is “to my shame”. One might also say “To my discredit, I did ...”.

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.

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    "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 '14 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. – FumbleFingers Aug 15 '14 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 '14 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 '14 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 '14 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".

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    Being unable to upvote all these great answers is very frustrating. – Drake Aug 15 '14 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 '14 at 23:25
  • @Dan Mea culpa! – Elliott Frisch Aug 15 '14 at 23:47
  • @Drake Looks like that isn't a problem any more! – Elliott Frisch Aug 17 '14 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 '14 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 '14 at 10:57
  • Same here (Native AmE speaker) – nomen Aug 17 '14 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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