also sherd, "piece or fragment," especially "piece of baked clay, piece of broken pottery or tile," from Old English sceard "incision, cleft, gap; potshard, a fragment, broken piece," from Proto-Germanic *skardaz (source also of Middle Dutch schaerde "a fragment, a crack," Dutch schaard "a flaw, a fragment," German Scharte "a notch," Danish skaar "chink, potsherd"), a past participle from PIE root *sker- (1) "to cut."
Meaning "fragment of broken earthenware" developed in late Old English. Also used, by Gower (late 14c.), as "scale of a dragon." French écharde "prickle, splinter" is a Germanic loan-word.
"piece or fragment of an earthenware pot," mid-14c., from pot (n.1) + Middle English schoord, from Old English sceard "fragment" (see shard). An early form of it was also pot scarth, from Middle English scarth "a pottery fragment" (c. 1400; 12c. in place-names), from Old Norse skarð, apparently a cognate of Old English sceard, though attested only as "notch, mountain pass," but compare Old Swedish scarþer "splinter."