So, I was catching up on my newest guilty pleasure this week, ‘Bondi Rescue’, and one of the lifeguards was putting together an elaborate proposal for his girlfriend (there was a helicopter). Just as they were flying towards the words ‘Marry Me’ written in the sand of Bondi, the voiceover guy described them as ‘star-crossed lovers’. This immediately had me reaching for Google, as I’m sure that the last time I checked, being a star-crossed lover wasn’t a good thing. And I was right – ‘star-crossed’ means to be ‘thwarted by bad luck’.
Etymology wise, there don’t seem to be any references to the word before Mr Shakespeare used it in the prologue of ‘Romeo and Juliet’ (spoiler alert!):
‘From forth the fatal loins of these two foes
A pair of star-cross’d lovers take their life.’
The word comes from the idea that our fates are ruled by the positions of the stars, and that some people are thwarted by evil or malign stars. Hence being ‘star-crossed’, like the unfortunate teen suicides, R+J.
You’ll be pleased to hear that lifeguard Harries and his wife Em are still married, and now have themselves a bub, so it doesn’t seem like they’re at all star-crossed. Not that I’m obsessed with ‘Bondi Rescue’ or anything.
Right, I wonder if I can fit another episode in before I have to earn a living…