This is the answer that is found on "The Word-Detective" web site: *The original meaning of "brand," which was "burning or fire," in this case specifically a furnace, forge or kiln. Something "brand new" was an item, whether pottery or forged metal, fresh from the fires of its creation, and the phrase dates back to the late 16th century. *Shakespeare used the expression "fire new" to mean the same thing. *The "brand name" sense of "brand," incidentally, is from a somewhat different sense of "brand" as a verb, meaning "to mark with an iron hot from the fire." *The first "brands" in this sense were probably wooden casks of wine marked in this fashion with the vintner's trademark. The practice of "branding" cows and horses with a rancher's brand comes from the same source. According to The American Heritage
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