DOG DAYS: The Word of the Month August 2013

Every month, we take a look at a word in the headlines, in English, for your English. See more at The Word of the Month.


Dog Days (idiom): The hottest period of the year, occurring in July and August (N.hemisphere).

Also: A period of lethargy and laziness, as you may have experienced this summer.

Dog Day Origins

Sirius is a star in the constellation Canis Major — the big dog. In August, Sirius shines bright.

The Romans thought Sirius caused the summer heat, hence the term Dog Days (and Canicule too).

Siriusly, Romans?

The dog days are over…

Now all that remains are the dogs:

Snoopy: Best friend is a canary. Has a house, yet sleeps on roof. Likely on drugs.

Snowy (aka Milou): White dog of white journalist Tintin. Probably racist.

Lassie: Genius-level canine. Once split an atom. Still pees on the rug occasionally.

Top Dog Expressions

Dog-eat-dog world: a competitive world, where dogs eat other dogs. My dog eats tennis balls.

Work like a dog: to work very hard. My dog sleeps and eats all day. Exhausting.

Every dog has its day: everyone has a lucky moment. Dogs, this is your day!

Take a look through our Word of the Month archives, or improve your English with

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