A shabby coat is not necessarily a sign that a man is hard up.
Now that he is hard up he practises on others what was practised on himself.
The press, hasn't got it yet, but both the British and the French are hard up against it.
Rodolphe interrupted her, declaring he was "hard up" himself.
Then Harold drew upon the rope until there was a check, and he knew that the pole was hard up against the edge of the wall.
"He has four youngsters, and I knows they be hard up," he began.
Their clothing is exceedingly scanty, and, when hard up, they use wild plantain leaves for this purpose.
hard up with your helm, my man; hard up, and let her pay off before it!
I had bought those toys in New York on a ten-day cash basis, so I was hard up.
“hard up with your helm, man,” I exclaimed impatiently to the man at the wheel.
Old English heard "solid, firm, not soft," also "severe, rigorous, cruel," from Proto-Germanic *hardu- (cf. Old Saxon and Dutch hard, Old Norse harðr "hard," Old High German harto "extremely, very," German hart, Gothic hardus "hard"), from PIE *kortu-, (cf. Greek kratos "strength," kratys "strong"), from root *kar-/*ker- "hard." Meaning "difficult to do" is from c.1200. The adverb sense was also present in Old English.
Hard of hearing preserves obsolete Middle English sense of "having difficulty in doing something." Hard liquor is 1879, American English (hard drink is from 1810; hard cider is from 1789), and this probably led to hard drugs (1955). Hard facts is from 1887; hard news is from 1938. Hard copy (as opposed to computer record) is from 1964; hard disk is from 1978. Hard up (1610s) is originally nautical, of steering (slang sense of "short of money" is from 1821), as is hard and fast (1680s), of a ship on shore. Hard times "period of poverty" is from 1705.
Hard money (1706) is specie, as opposed to paper. Hence 19c. U.S. hard (n.) "one who advocates the use of metallic money as the national currency" (1844). To play hard to get is from 1945. Hard rock as a pop music style recorded from 1967.
[apparently fr a nautical expression meaning the helm is hard up, that is, held all the way to windward while beating and so pinched as tight as possible]