E. Cobham Brewer 18101897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
He fleshed his sword. Used it for the first time. Men fleshed in crueltyi.e. initiated or used to it. A sportsmans expression. When a sportsman wishes to encourage a young dog or hawk, he will allow it to have the first game it catches for its own eating. This flesh. is the first it has tasted, and fleshing its tooth thus gives the creature a craving for similar food. Hence, also, to eat with avidity.