dog days

dog-day, adj.
1. the sultry part of the summer, supposed to occur during the period that Sirius, the Dog Star, rises at the same time as the sun: now often reckoned from July 3 to August 11.
2. a period marked by lethargy, inactivity, or indolence.
[1530-40; trans. of L dies caniculares; see CANICULAR]

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      periods of exceptionally hot and humid weather that often occur in July, August, and early September in the northern temperate latitudes. The name originated with the ancient Greeks, Romans, and Egyptians; they believed that Sirius, the dog star, which rises simultaneously with the Sun during this time of the year, added its heat to the Sun's and thereby caused the hot weather. Their belief that dogs were subject to spells of madness at this time also may have contributed to the name. Because people tended to become listless during the dog days, Sirius was held to have a detrimental effect on human activities.

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Universalium. 2010.

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