Dog Days of Summer (Origin)

What Is the Origin of the Saying "Dog Days of Summer"?

The term "dog days of summer" means the hottest days of the summer season. In the Northern Hemisphere, they run from July to August.
Dog Days of Summer (Origin)

Examples of Use:

  • The dog days of summer refer to the hottest and most oppressive period of the season.
  • During the dog days of summer, people seek relief from the scorching heat by spending time near water bodies.
  • In many cultures, the dog days of summer are associated with a time of lethargy and reduced activity due to the extreme temperatures.
  • During the dog days of summer, it's common to see people enjoying ice cream and cold beverages to beat the heat.
  • The phrase dog days of summer originates from the ancient belief that the position of the Sirius star coincided with the hottest days of the year.
The saying "dog days of summer" has nothing to do with dogs lazing around on a hot summer's day. It has nothing to do with dogs at all. The term has its origins in ancient Rome, when hot summer days were called "dog days" (dies caniculares). The name derives from the star Sirius, which, being the brightest star in Canis Major (Large Dog) constellation, was known as the "Dog Star."

Sirius is, in fact, the brightest star in the entire night sky, and the ancient Romans believed that it, as well as the Sun, radiated heat towards Earth. They believed that the heat of summer was caused by Sirius and the Sun rising and setting in unison, which occurs in the summer months. (Of course, the seasons are caused by the tilt of the Earth, not the alignment of the Sun with any stars, so the "dog days" of summer depend on your location.)

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This page was written by Craig Shrives.