More Words with Dis-
1. Knowing what you know now about the prefix dis-, sort out the following words as directed:
The word that does not contain the prefix dis- is ____________
Most words that start out <dis> do contain the prefix dis-!
2. There are two dis- words that deserve a special word: display and disaster.
Display contains the prefix dis- and the stem play, but the play in display is not the same as the play in playground or “Play ball!” The play in display comes from a Latin word that meant “to fold.” Display originally meant “to fold out”– as when a Roman cloth merchant would display his goods. Our other word play didn't come from Latin at all. It came from German.
At first you might not recognize the dis- prefix in the word disaster because the free stem you are left with seems odd: disaster = dis + aster. An aster is a flower, and what can flowers have to do with disasters? The word aster comes from a Latin word that meant “star.” The flowers are called asters because they are star-shaped. You can see part of that Latin word for “star” in words like astronomy, astrology, and astronaut.
So, what do disasters have to do with stars? The Romans believed that our future was told in the stars. They had a word for a time when the stars foretold a bad future: disastrato, “ill-starred.” If something was ill-starred, it was sure to be a disaster. So that is what flowers and stars and disasters have in common in our spelling.
This Word Squares contains sixteen words that all start with the prefix dis- and one that does not. Don't let the long ones scare you.
The word that does not contain dis- is _________.