E. Cobham Brewer 18101897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
A sea term, meaning to shift the position of a vessel. This is done by means of a rope called a warp. Kedging is when the warp is bent to a kedge, which is let go, and the vessel is hove ahead by the capstan.
The potent rod
Of Amrams son [Moses], in Egypts evil day,
Waved round the coast, up-called a pitchy cloud
Of locusts, warping [shifting about] in the eastern wind.
Milton: Paradise Lost, i. 338.
In Lancashire, warping means laying eggs; and boys, on finding a birds nest, will askAnd how many eggs has she warped?