This is another word that my daughter came running out to show me in her history book. And one I found even more intriguing when I looked it up on my own, as etymonline doesn’t, in fact, agree with said history book!
So, according to A History of Us, the phrase brand-new was once bran-new. This because imported items were shipped in barrels that used bran as a packing material. So if something was fresh from the crates, just taken from the bran…
Other sources, however, say that the original was brand-new, dating from the 1500s…though the idea is actually rather parallel, in that it came from the notion of being straight from the forge (brand at the time meant “fire). Shakespeare actually used fire-new.
So whether it has a D or not, it certainly carries the same meaning–something freshly made.