bran(d)-new

Benjamin Zimmer bgzimmer at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU
Fri Dec 5 15:51:31 UTC 2008


My latest Word Routes column is on "brand-new" vs. "bran-new":

http://www.visualthesaurus.com/cm/wordroutes/1626/

Beyond the column's discussion of the eggcornic etymythologies
surrounding "bran-new", antedatings for that spelling may also be of
interest. OED2 has it from 1714 -- here it is from 50 years earlier:

---
Charles Cotton, _Scarronides: or, Virgile travestie A mock-poem. Being
the first book of Virgils AEneis in English, burl├ęsque_ (1664), p. 80
A lusty Rascal, such a one
As one of you (dispraise to none)
Comes into th' yard, and off o'th' Hedge,
Where all our Clouts, were hung to Bleach;
Whips me a bran-new Flaxen-Smock,
The very best of all my Stock.
---

That's from the original edition on EEBO (confirmed by page image).
Subsequent editions that include burlesques of both Books I and IV of
the Aeneid change "bran-new" to "brand-new" in this passage:

http://www.archive.org/details/scarronidesorvir00cott
http://dev.hil.unb.ca/Texts/EPD/UNB/view-works.cgi?c=cottonch.1552&pos=3

However, these later editions include another "bran-new" in a passage
from the Book IV burlesque:

---
At last she sallies from the House,
As fine and brisk as Body-Louse.
Shee Hood and Safe-guard had bran new,
The Lace was Yellow, Cloth was Blew.
---

Here's another early EEBO hit for "bran-new":

---
Walter Scot, _A true history of the several honourable families of the
right honourable name of Scot in the shires of Roxburgh and Selkirk,
and others adjacent_ (1688), p. 26
Some late start-up bran-new Gentlemen,
That hardly knows from whence their Fathers came.
---


--Ben Zimmer

------------------------------------------------------------
The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org



More information about the Ads-l mailing list