also *ker-, Proto-Indo-European root meaning "hard."
It forms all or part of: -ard; Bernard; cancer; canker; carcinogen; carcinoma; careen; chancre; -cracy; Gerard; hard; hardly; hardy; Leonard; Richard; standard.
It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit karkatah "crab," karkarah "hard;" Greek kratos "strength," kratys "strong;" "hard;" Old English heard, German hart "solid and firm, not soft."
mid-15c., scanten, "be deficient, fail," also "be sparing," from scant (adj.). From 1560s as "put on scant allowance, limit;" 1580s as "make small or scanty, diminish." The meaning "treat slightingly" is by c. 1600. As an adverb, "scarcely, hardly," by mid-15c.
word-forming element meaning "battle, war, contest, fighting, warfare," from Latinized form of Greek -makhia, from makhē "a battle, fight," related to makhesthai "to fight." Beekes suspects it is from an isolated root, perhaps Pre-Greek: "In the domain of fighting and battle, old inherited expressions can hardly be expected."
"massive structure used as a breakwater," 1540s, from French môle "breakwater" (16c.), ultimately from Latin moles "mass, massive structure, barrier," perhaps from PIE root *mō- "to exert oneself" (source also of Greek molos "effort," molis "hardly, scarcely;" German mühen "to tire," müde "weary, tired;" Russian majat' "to fatigue, exhaust," maja "hard work").
In early use often hardly more emphatic than the mod. dirty; it is now a violent expression of disgust, seldom employed in polite colloquial speech. [OED]
Related: Filthily; filthiness.