Reference > Brewer’s Dictionary > Hard Up.

 Hard Lines.Hard as Nails. 
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E. Cobham Brewer 1810–1897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
 
Hard Up.
 
Short of money. “N’avoir pas de quibus.” “Up” often = out, as, “used up,” “worn out,” “done up,” etc. “Hard up” = nearly out [of cash]. In these, and all similar examples, “Up” is the Old English ofer, over; Latin, s-uper; Greek, υpiεrho.   1
 


 Hard Lines.Hard as Nails. 

 
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