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Also ‑art.

Forming nouns.

Old French, from German ‑hard or ‑hart, hard or hardy, often appearing as the last element in personal names, such as Reginhart, Adalhart, or Bernhart.

Such nouns that relate to people often have a dismissive sense: bastard, coward, drunkard, laggard, sluggard. These usually derive from adjectives, some of which are now archaic (coward, for example, comes from Old French couard, a tail, suggesting someone retreating with tail between legs).

Nouns sometimes suggest an object that has been formed as the result of an action: bollard, a post for mooring a ship, is from bole, the trunk of a tree; pollard, a tree trimmed to encourage new growth to feed stock, is from poll, to cut the top off something; standard, a flag mounted on a pole, is from Old French estendre, to extend, whose initial letter was lost in the shift to English. Other examples are placard, mallard, and buzzard.

Rarely, the suffix is spelled ‑art, as in braggart.

Some words with this ending come from other sources: custard (Old French crouste), hazard (originally the name of a dice game, the precursor of craps, from Persian zār or Turkish zar, dice), leopard (Greek leōn, lion, plus pardos, a male panther, the animal at first being thought a hybrid).

See also ‑ward.

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