brand spanking new


brand spanking new


  • completely new or unused.
  • something that is fresh out of the package or showroom.
  • an item that has never been used or worn before.
  • a sense of pristine condition, devoid of any wear or damage.
  • The idiom also suggests novelty and a lack of previous ownership or usage.

Example Sentences

  1. I just bought a brand spanking new car yesterday.
  2. The store just received a shipment of brand spanking new
  3. She wore a brand spanking new dress to the party.
  4. The house was brand spanking new, with gleaming floors and untouched walls.
  5. The company released a brand spanking new version of their software today.

Origin and History

The term “brand” may have originated around 950 A.D., referring to a hot, burned wooden stake. To “brand” something involves applying a permanent mark of ownership, whether it be on jewelry or animals, using a hot stake or iron. The expression “brand spanking new” evolved from the earlier phrase “brand new,” which dates back to at least 1570, as noted by John Foxe in his Sermons.

The expression emerged in English around the mid-seventeenth century, initially suggesting something of exceptional quality or remarkable elegance, often referring to something flashy or stylish. Later, it was often used for horses that were stylishly fast.

In later usage, it broadened to simply denote rapid movement in any form of transportation, with no specific association with horses.

The modern meaning of “brand spanking new” closely aligns with its origins. The phrase first appears in written records from the mid-nineteenth century. The earliest documented instance (in its present form) can be traced back to a narrative featuring an unfortunate sea captain, published in Harper’s New Monthly Magazine in April 1860 under the title “Captain Tom: A Resurrection.” It reads:

“He had a new vessel, he had a new crew, he had brand spanking new fish-gear; but he had his old luck.”

New Born Baby Origin Connection

The phrase is commonly linked to the birth of a newborn baby, often involving a gentle slap to stimulate breathing. In British English, “slap” is preferred over “spank” in this context because the latter implies punishment. This could be due to transferred imagery that strengthens the association in this specific instance.

The originator of “brand spanking new” likely drew upon imagery from “spick and span,” the rhyme between “bran” and “span,” and the connotation of “spanking” to craft a fitting phrase.

According to Eric Partridge, a New Zealand-British lexicographer of the English language, despite its original intent, it has become a widely adopted catchphrase.

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