See Ireland, where Sgeir nan Sgarbh, or "skerry of the cormorants", is the Gaelic with the Norse root skarfr. See: A New History of Ireland, at //books.google.com/books?id=SJSDj1dDvNUC&pg=PA632&lpg=PA632&dq=cormorant+in+old+norse&source=bl&ots=Z-SDPG11yu&sig=DuZ6nziQ45ye9TdRW8o6ShyXqpw&hl=en&ei=JzkSTNigB8H7lweF6pjyBw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=3&ved=0CBkQ6AEwAg#v=onepage&q&f=false/.
Skarf, scarf. Etymology Old Norse, see Etymology Online Dictionary: Another root line -- construction, not cormorant: good nest-builders?
"connecting joint," 1276, probably from O.N. skarfr "nail for fastening a joint." A general North Sea Gmc. ship-building word (cf. Du. scherf, Swed. skarf, Norw. skarv), the exact relationship of all these is unclear. Also borrowed into Romanic (cf. Fr. écart, Sp. escarba); perhaps ult. from P.Gmc. *skerf-, *skarf- (cf. O.E. sceorfan "to gnaw, bite").
The connections seem to continue between Norse roots and the name Skarf, Scharf, Scharfe. The ending "e" is arbitrary, added by my grandfather in 1890 or so in Ottawa where the family farms were, to distinguish his line from all the others relatives around, and so help out the post office), and other spellings.
See Surname Scharfe, Yorkshire, England - Vikings?. It fits the history. There are also many, many Jewish Scharfs we now find.
See the reference at the localhistories site here to Viking conquest of Orkney. See ://www.localhistories.org/viking.html/; and throughout Europe, Eastern Europe, Russia, trading with the Byzantine Empire. Now to look for Byzantine Scharfs. The name itself would predate the Middle German use of it; so we are not convinced the name was originally germanic; it went where the raiders went. And settled. And intermarried. And simply took. And slaved, and did what they did. Is that so? Would a slave or apprentice of a Viking take in any way the name of the Viking?
See the wingspan of the name - at Scarff spelling form, ://www.ancestry.com/facts/scarff-family-history.ashx/ and ://boards.ancestry.com/surnames.scarff/25/mb.ashx/.