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I once heard someone say that teachers coined the phrase “The Dog Days of Summer” because they all got to lay around like dogs and do nothing during the hottest part of the year — like dogs get to do every day of the year.
Of course, that’s not true, but do you know where the phrase really came from?
No, it wasn’t ancient teachers. Nor was it our old buddy Scooby Doo who came up with the phrase Dog Days of Summer.
We actually have to go way back to the ancient Romans who noticed the brightest star in the sky, called Sirius or The Dog Star, happened to rise and fall right with the sun during the hottest time of the year.
They believed Sirius was responsible for the extra heat which made those particular days hotter than all of the others.
Sirius is brightest star of the constellation Canis Major (The Big Dog). So, as you can imagine, those days quickly became known as The Dog Days. The Romans called it “Caniculares Dies” (The Days of the Dog). In Mexico, the hottest days of summer are referred to as “La Canicula.”
Traditionally, The Dog Days of Summer are the 40 days from July 3rd to August 11th. Generally speaking, however, the period from early July to early September is often referred to as the Dog Days.
Just For Fun…
Here’s a crossword puzzle devoted to The Dog Days.
Check out this hot weather quiz.
Remember the movie Dog Day Afternoon?
Then there’s the book by Ann Marie Cox.
And finally, a video of Fido demonstrating some dogged determination in pursuit of something fun:
So, as you can see, The Dog Days are legendary, traditional, educational… and hot!
As the Dog Days are upon us, let’s hope they’ll be among the best days of your summertime fun.
I'm a TV weatherman in south Texas. I get blamed for the bad weather, but I also get credit for the beautiful days. I absolutely love my job!