Last name origins & meanings:

  1. English: from the Old English personal name Heard or a Norman cognate Hard(on), also of Germanic origin. This was a byname meaning ‘hardy’, ‘brave’, ‘strong’, but it also seems to have been used as a short form of the various compound names containing this as a first element. Occasionally this may also be a variant of Hardy.
  2. English, German, Dutch, and Swedish (Hård): nickname for a stern or severe man, from Middle English, Middle Low German hard, Middle Dutch hart, hert, Swedish hård ‘hard’, ‘inflexible’. The Swedish name was probably originally a soldier’s name.
  3. English: topographic name for someone who lived on a patch of particularly hard ground or one that was difficult to farm. Compare Hardacre.
  4. Dutch: occupational name from Middle Dutch harde, herde ‘herder’.
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