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.
Hello! I'm Adam Aleksic, a senior studying government and linguistics at Harvard University, where I co-founded the Harvard Undergraduate Linguistics Society. In addition to etymology, I also really enjoy trivia, politics, vexillology, geography, board games, conlanging, art history, and law.