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John Cowan

If the spelling had not changed to match the pronunciation, we'd probably write dwargh, like laugh. In both cases, final /x/ went to /f/ rather than disappearing altogether.

As it happens, scarf 'strip of cloth' is a borrowing from Normand escarp, whose plural changed by analogy with elf, leaf, self, calf, half, etc.

John Cowan

By the way, an American would understand "17-stone dwarfs" as dwarfs made using seventeen stones.

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