The word disaster has such a "star-crossed" etymology. Well, that's literally what it meant as Italian disastro, from whence it came (through Middle French desastre). Here we can separate it into two parts: dis-, the prefix we use for negating words, and astro, which meant "star". Hopefully, now you can see that a disaster only occurs because of negative stars- or so the Italians would have us believe. Astro continues its backward journey as we reach the Ancient Greek word astron, also meaning "star". Through a Proto-Hellenic root probably sounding like aster, this is reconstructed as deriving from the Proto-Indo-European (PIE) root hehs, meaning "to burn". Yes, this is the same etymology as for the prefix of the word astronaut, which literally means "star sailor" itself.
Adam Aleksic is a sophomore studying linguistics and government at Harvard University. He also has disturbing interests in politics, vexillology, geography, board games, conlanging, and law.