Breakdown: Why are they called ‘the dog days of summer’

Dog Day's of Summer

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Let’s face it, you hear this team a lot during the summer months, but do you know how it got its name and why it’s called “the dog days of summer?" In this episode of the Breakdown, we will explain everything you need to know.

Lots of people think that the saying means the days are so oppressively hot that dogs lay on the asphalt, panting because of the heat. While some may use it in that way, it’s actually a term that is used to describe a prolonged period of heat in the summer.

The dog days of summer in the Northern Hemisphere are between July and early September, which are typically the hottest months of the year.

This time of year marks the most sticky and uncomfortable weather of the year, hence the term “dog days," which also can mean the lack of inactivity during this time. The term was also used on Wall Street to reflect the slow times of economic activity in the stock market.

Greeks and Romans believed, the “dog days” occurred the day Sirius, a mythic god that represented the ‘dog star’, appeared to rise just before the sun in late July. They referred to these days as the hottest time of the year, a period that could bring fever or even catastrophe.

So next time you hear the term, “dog days of summer” you now know where the hottest part of the year gained its name.

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