One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Iron or steel that is brittle when red-hot; the defect represented by this. Now rare.
Designating iron and steel that is brittle when red-hot, typically because of an excess of sulphur in the metal. Opposed to cold-short.
Mid 18th century; earliest use found in Beware of Bubbles. From red + short, perhaps after the adjectives Danish rødskør, † rødskjør or Swedish rödskör (although this is apparently first attested later: 1782).
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