Pearl, holding down the hostess station, explained: “Amy's helping in the kitchen—short-handed back there. Short-handed everywhere in 7.
2003, Ken Warren, Ken Warren Teaches Texas Hold'em, ISBN1580420850, page 374:
Short-handed games are not made for beginners. If you're contemplating taking a seat in a short-handed game, the very most important thing you need to know is exactly what the skill levels are of the players.
1953, The Labour Gazette - Volume 53, Issue 10, page 1481:
The present Section, where the vessel sails short-handed, permits the payment of shorthand pay, but there is a clause in that contract which hoists it if the vessel sailing short-handed is due to the misconduct of any crew member.