Hard Up

an excerpt from Maine Lingo: Boiled Owls, Billdads, & Wazzats by John Gould

HARD UP: To be up against it, but not quite a pauper. When you get so hard up you have to call on (for town aid), you no longer have your head above water. It also means a last-ditch conjecture: “I’d have to be awful hard up to make a pass at her!”