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I run across a phrase of "You are brand new to GitHub" on the web.

What makes me confused is the word "brand"; is it a noun, an adjective or an adverb?

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closed as general reference by tchrist, coleopterist, Jim, Kris, Matt Эллен Jan 7 '13 at 9:20

This question is too basic; it can be definitively and permanently answered by a single link to a standard internet reference source designed specifically to find that type of information.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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The perfectly pedestrian adjective brand-new should be any possible dictionary. Voting to close as general reference. –  tchrist Jan 7 '13 at 5:26
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"Brand-new": " : fresh from the manufacturer : conspicuously new and unused" (MW3UDE). This is a standard English idiom. See the e. e. cummings poem "[she being brand new]()writersalmanac.publicradio.org/index.php?date=2002/10/14";. –  user21497 Jan 7 '13 at 5:29
    
Brand new: ODO, Webster, Wiktionary. –  coleopterist Jan 7 '13 at 5:54
    
According to ODO, brand here is half an adjective. –  Edwin Ashworth Jan 7 '13 at 7:09
    
en.wiktionary.org/wiki/brand_new thefreedictionary.com/brand-new Voting to close as GR. –  Kris Jan 7 '13 at 8:38

1 Answer 1

up vote 1 down vote accepted

brand is a degree word. Degree words modify adjectives to describe the degree to which a property is had. The adjective new is special in that one usually says brand new instead of very new.

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What other words (besides new) does brand work with? –  Peter Shor Jan 7 '13 at 5:29
    
@PeterShor Spanking. –  StoneyB Jan 7 '13 at 5:46
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@Peter Shor: I've read dialogues in which speakers have said "That's brand clean!" –  user21497 Jan 7 '13 at 5:52
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@StoneyB Can you really say that something is brand spanking, not just that it is brand spanking new? It looks like all the OED’s citations of this kind of spanking meaning very occur in phrases like spanking new or brand spanking new, but that there are none for just brand spanking alone without the new. What does that say or suggest then? –  tchrist Jan 7 '13 at 6:10
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@tchrist: I wonder if StoneyB meant to answer the question, "What other words (besides brand) works with new that way?" –  J.R. Jan 7 '13 at 8:56

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