One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
verbScottish, North American
no object Of crops, manure, etc.: to become excessively dry and damaged as a result of the too rapid decomposition of organic matter; (of cheese) to acquire a scorched appearance or taste. Formerly also with object: †(of a rapid decomposition process) to cause (compost) to become excessively dry (obsolete).
Mid 16th century (in an earlier sense). From fire + fang, probably after fire-fanged.
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