- -ard also -art, from O.Fr. -ard, -art, from Ger. -hard, -hart "hardy," forming the second element in many personal names, often used as an intensifier, but in Middle High German and Dutch used as a pejorative element in common nouns, and thus passing into Middle English in BASTARD (Cf. bastard), COWARD (Cf. coward), blaffard ("one who stammers"), etc. It thus became a living element in English, e.g. BUZZARD (Cf. buzzard), DRUNKARD (Cf. drunkard).
Etymology dictionary. 2014.