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dog days

the days of summer heat

TRANSLATION

dog days = die heissen Tage im Sommer

STATISTICS

IN THE PRESS

"Spanish 10-year yields are now little above five percent – having peaked at 7.5 in the DOG DAYS of last summer."

Reuters

Did you
know?

dog days
idiomatic noun phrase

- the hot, sultry period of summer between early July and early September

- a period of stagnation

American Heritage Dictionary


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ORIGIN

Imagine for a moment it's the middle of August and over 30 C°. Your dog is lying under a tree in the backyard, panting, too tired and hot to do anything else. This picture would be a logical explanation for the expression "dog days" or "dog days of summer" as it is also called.

In etymology, logic does not always prevail:

The source of this idiom goes far back to the ancient Greeks and Romans and a misinterpretation of the stars. During hot weather, particularly the period from mid-July through August, the star Sirius rises and sets with the sun. Sirius is part of the constellation that the Romans called Canis Major, or the Great Dog, which in Greek mythology refers to one of Orion's two hunting dogs (the other being Canis Minor).The Romans thus referred to this period in summer as "carniculares dies," or days of the dogs.

The ancients believed that the rising and setting of Sirius produced extra heat for the Earth. This explanation was used to account for the hot and sultry heat produced during the summer months.

But while we now know that Sirius produces a tiny amount of light energy in our direction, it isn't responsible for the dog days of summer. The hot weather is caused by the tilt of the Earth in relationship to the sun, making the Northern Hemisphere hotter in the summer and the Southern Hemisphere warmer in the winter.

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Practice OWAD in a conversation today:

"The DOG DAYS of summer are hell without air conditioning in our office."

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