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new & brand-new

Posted: Tue Mar 14, 2006 2:41 am
by Wizard of Oz
.. I have wanted to gain some opinion on the qualitative difference between the two adjectives, new and brand-new for some time now .. in short, what is it that prompts us to use brand-new as opposed to simply new ?? .. going to the Archives I found the following ..
Archived Topic


0 Posts
Posted - 14 Jul 1998 : 00:00:00
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What is the difference between 'new' and 'brand new'?


Submitted by David Johnson (Concord - U.S.A.)

Jonathon Green


0 Posts
Posted - 16 Jul 1998 : 08:00:00
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Brand-new comes from the imagery of the iron foundary. It refers to the
piece of metal that is new from the brand, i.e. something, usu. a piece of
wood, that has been burning on the hearth; thus the term means as if fresh
and glowing from the furnace.


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Jonathon Green
.. this gives us a short insight into the etymology of brand-new but it is the usage that concerns me .. when should/can/do we use brand-new in preference to simply new .. is it governed by the noun to be qualified ?? .. looking at the etymology of brand-new can we only use that term correctly in referring to something that can be branded ?? .. this is patently not the case as I commonly hear people say, for instance, I started a brand-new job today." or We have a brand-new boss." .. a look in Eric Partridge's Usage and Abusage doesn't contrast the two words but does add some width by introducing the variation bran-new .. hmmm this is getting deeper than I wanted but >>
BRAND-NEW.}
BRAN-NEW.} (Teut. brand new.) Quite new.

This word is provincial in the North of England, and is used in colloquial language in other parts, as well as in the United States. Mr. Todd suggests whether the expression may not have been originally brent-new, or bren-new, from the Saxon brennan, to burn, equivalent in meaning to fire-new, i. e., anything new from the forge; hence the secondary sense, just finished, quite new. The Dutch expression is explained by Kilian by vier-new.--Forby--Brockett.

Dr. Jamieson calls this a Scottish word.

---- Waes me, I hae forgot,
With hast of coming off; to fetch my coat.
What shall I do? It was almaist brand new;
'Tis but a hellier since't came off the clew.--Ross's Helenore, p. 53.

Source:Dictionary of Americanisms, by John Russell Bartlett (1848)
.. it seems to boil down to whether something can be newer than new and if that is so then maybe that is where we use brand-new .. wot think ye wizards ??? ..

WoZ of Aus 14/03/06

new & brand-new

Posted: Tue Mar 14, 2006 4:36 am
by Erik_Kowal
Often the word 'brand' in this connection is used as a kind of intensifying adjective to emphasise the pristine quality or conceptual novelty of the new item (especially when it has just been purchased from a shop). Sometimes, indeed, 'brand' is felt to be inadequate for describing the utter newness of the object in question: in such situations it is considered almost mandatory by many to describe it as 'brand spanking new'.

It can be seen that in this context, 'brand' (and 'spanking' too) serve much the same function as would be achieved by prefacing the noun nominally being described with a swear word. Which is to say, it adds little or nothing to our understanding of the properties of the object, but does say something about the attitude or strength of feeling about it that is possessed by the speaker.

new & brand-new

Posted: Tue Mar 14, 2006 3:31 pm
by kagriffy
Partridge notwithstanding, I really can't imagine using "brand [-spanking] new" in a formal context, such as a business letter or memo. I would use the term only informally. I agree with Erik that such terms are simply intensifiers, and their use expresses the attitude of the speaker/writer.

new & brand-new

Posted: Tue Mar 14, 2006 4:47 pm
by russcable
I _might_ use brand new in a semi-formal to formal context but never spankin' ^_^. I use it to mean "really new", e.g. "How do you like my new car?" "Is it brand new?" "No, I've had it for a couple months."

BTW, "Sanforized" is the trade name for a process applied to cotton fabrics to control shrinking. Any brand of cotton shirt can have a "Sanforized" label if the maker pays the license fee to use the process.

new & brand-new

Posted: Tue Mar 14, 2006 5:58 pm
by JANE DOErell
In the parts where I spend my winters "brand" before "new" is, as Eirk writes, an "intensifying adjective". People in Nevada say "He's got a brand new wife/girlfriend/horse/truck/double-wide!" for example.

new & brand-new

Posted: Tue Mar 14, 2006 7:26 pm
by minjeff
I tend to use "brand new" to clarify which definition of "new" I'm trying to get across. If it were just new to me, or a replacement or such I'd only use "new". If it were just made, created, thought up, bought(only sometimes) then I'd use brand new.

Example:

I'm buying a new car. (This sentence lacks clarification as to whether the car is just new to me or it is just off of the assembly line/ never driven)

I'm buying a brand new car. (This sentence removes the doubt the car could be new only to my possession by emphasizing the fact that it isn't used or pre-owned)

In short: I would call "brand" a limiter of "new" and emphasizer of which definition of new one is trying to convey, not as an intensifier meaning "more new" or "very new"

new & brand-new

Posted: Tue Mar 14, 2006 8:14 pm
by Ken Greenwald
I’ll add my two cents. As a practical matter, I think that all forms of NEW (with their intensifiers) have a shelf life whose precise meaning is often known only to the speaker. If I say “I have a new boss,” this might mean new in the past week or it could mean new in the past year, if I had my previous boss for 37 years. If I say “I have a brand-new boss” this shortens the probable time span, but it is still an imprecise and relative term (at what point does a brand-new car stop being ‘brand-new’). And if I say “I have a brand spanking new boss,” the time interval is meant to be tightened yet further, but really, does this mean within the last microsecond, minute, hour, day, week, . . . – it’s all relative as Albert might have pointed out to us.

And speaking of relative, BRAND-NEW, BRAN NEW, and BRAND SPANKING NEW were discussed relatively recently in these halls at brand spanking new. And the ‘spanking,’ BTW, does not come from the idea of spanking a newborn baby, which had been my initial thought, and which would probably make just a fine folk etymology.
_____________________

Ken G – March 14, 2006.

new & brand-new

Posted: Wed Mar 15, 2006 12:39 am
by Wizard of Oz
.. minjeff I made the oftmade error of not asking my beloved her thoughts on this matter and guess what ?? .. of course she very neatly made the point that you made and it immediately touched a chord with me .. new is a relative term and can have both the meaning of being new to the now owner and possibly secondhand or new as in never used .. the addition of brand , or as Erik suggests brand-spanking , does away with the possibility of being secondhand and carries the idea of the item being never used and hence back to the root idea of being fresh from the forge ..

.. thanks all .. the postings and discussion has now clarified the distinctions between these words for me ..

WoZ of Aus 14/03/06

PS .. JANE .. have the picture in my head of new wife/girlfriend/horse/truck BUT wothaheck is a double-wide .. *grin* .. can see it as an intensifier for the other nouns you listed .. *fertive glance over shoulder to check that this post isn't being monitored* ..

WoZ

new & brand-new

Posted: Wed Mar 15, 2006 6:43 pm
by kagriffy
There is a town in Illinois (in suburban St. Louis) called New Baden. I used to work with a woman who had grown up there. She once told me that a tornado ripped through the town several years ago and destroyed nearly half the town. Some of the locals decided that when they rebuilt, they should change the town's name to "Brand-New Baden"!

. . . he said, writing from tornado-ravaged Springfield!

new & brand-new

Posted: Thu Mar 16, 2006 7:28 am
by Erik_Kowal
WoZ, I believe that a so-called 'double-wide' is a larger-size trailer home (a.k.a. 'mobile home') formed by parking two trailers right next to each other and removing the walls that previously separated them. As far as I know, some of them are also prefabricated to similar dimensions.

new & brand-new

Posted: Thu Mar 16, 2006 5:45 pm
by JANE DOErell
Yes, a 'double-wide' is a common prefrabicated manufactured* home in Navada.

*kagriffy below is correct

new & brand-new

Posted: Thu Mar 16, 2006 10:46 pm
by kagriffy
Actually, Erik, the preferred term (especially for a double-wide as opposed to a single-wide) is "Manufactured Home." And, although I live in a double-wide in a "Manufactured Home Community" (formerly known as a "trailer park"), the recent Springfield tornadoes managed to miss my house completely. I came through unscathed, but I had no electricity for over 68 hours!

(I guess that makes me "manufactured home community gar-BAZH" rather than "trailer park trash.") lol

new & brand-new

Posted: Sat Mar 18, 2006 5:20 pm
by Erik_Kowal
So what is the difference between a prefabricated and a manufactured home?

new & brand-new

Posted: Sun Mar 19, 2006 9:10 pm
by JANE DOErell
Manufactured and prefabricated terminology overlap considerably except in the industries, codes and laws. I have it from a personal communication with someone who may know that homes in Nevada are manufactured while modular commercial buildings are prefabricated and recreational vehicles have their own legal status. The houses I have bought and sold in Nevada have manufactured on the legal papers.

new & brand-new

Posted: Fri Mar 31, 2006 3:24 pm
by jackster
Let me add another modifier I've heard, particularly in advertising: "Your VERY own". Obviously used to excite a prospective buyer, and denote its "value" as being something precious and in great demand.

Jack