Green’s Dictionary of Slang

scorch v.

1. see burn v. (1)

2. to go or move very fast.

[UK]Star (Guernsey) 7 June 2/6: Scorching by Bicyclists. The tendency of bicyclists to indulge in ‘scorching’ practices [...] has attracted Parliamentary notice.
[US]S. Crane in Sun (N.Y.) 5 July in Stallman (1966) 150: The scorcher has a blissful confidence in his ability to scorch and [...] they go flying up the Boulevard.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 20 Dec. 33/2: I’d abolish wooden shanties, broken fences, and the like; / Likewise the evil-minded cove who scorches on a bike.
[UK]H.G. Wells Kipps (1952) 72: Scorching! Ehy, if I’d been scorching you’ have — coming as we did — you’d have been knocked silly.
[Aus]H. Lawson ‘To be Amused’ in Roderick (1967–9 II) 222: And curb the goggled ‘social-lights’ / That ‘scorch’ to nowhere with our gold.
[UK]J. Buchan Greenmantle (1930) 293: I have been in the clouds and I’ve been scorching on the pikes, but what I was wanting was in the ditch all the time, and I naturally missed it.
[Aus]Cairns Post (Qld) 29 Dec. 4/4: [headline] Motor Scorchers [...] He becomes seized with an impulse to scorch, and all considerations of safety [...] are thrownt o the wind.
in D. Sheridan (ed.) Wartime Women 97: ‘Once I’d got right I scorched like anything, but none the less arrived ten minutes late’.
[Aus]Argus (Melbourne) 16 Dec. 8/1: It tok him 50 minutes to score 26, which is not exactly ‘scorching’.
[Aus]Argus (Melbourne) 10 Oct. 18/3: Scorching down the straight in a blaze of his old power.
[NZ]P. Shannon Davey Darling 32: We scorched on to Burwood. I’d never seen the Old Man drive like this.

3. used as a euph. for an oath, e.g. damn v. (1)

[UK](ref. to early 18C) Sheffield Dly Teleg. 11 Sept. 7/2: In Colly Cibbr’s days the young beaux [...] invented wild oaths such as ‘Stap my vitals,’ ‘Burn my liver,’ and ‘Scorch me’.
Bystander (London) 17 Dec. 3/1: ‘I don’t ’ave ter go ten thousand miles first-class all the wye (scorch) em!’.

4. (US black) to escort.

[US]Z.N. Hurston Seraph on the Suwanee (1995) 604: It called for lots of persistence and a thick hide to ‘scorch’ Arvay Henson home. [Ibid.] 620: He had scorched her to church and back today.

5. to arrest.

[UK]P. Baker Blood Posse 245: The heat scorched Jelly Bean [...] They got him on half a million dollar bail.

In phrases