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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

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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