One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1The softening or cracking of a rock face to facilitate excavation, by exposing it to a wood fire built close against it.
2The action or practice of starting a fire; especially the setting of fires as a malicious or criminal act; arson.
That starts a fire; especially that sets fires as a malicious or criminal act.
Early 19th century. From fire + setting<br>mid 19th century; earliest use found in Cobbett's Weekly Political Register. From fire + setting, present participle of set.
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