Talk:Dog days

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In the 1940s and 1950s in rural East Tennessee, we kids (and perhaps adults too?) thought "dog days" were so called because dogs were prone to contract rabies in that season. Jm546 03:31, 15 June 2007 (UTC)

That may be so, but it's a folk etymology.--Rfsmit (talk) 22:29, 21 May 2013 (UTC)
Might could be, but one shared with the Romans and Greeks. — LlywelynII 11:15, 4 March 2017 (UTC)

Dog Days meant when I was a child in the 1960s and 1970s[edit]

Dog Days when I was a child in Arkansas meant that simple sores,scratches and wounds to your body became festered easily and boils were more common during this time of year. Severe itching for no apparent reason. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:14, 2 October 2007 (UTC)

This is what Dog Days always meant to us in Georgia, ditto the above comment. Some mention should be made of this. 01:05, 23 October 2007 (UTC)
This is something I recognize from Sweden too, half a world apart too. Also that during the 'rotten-months' milk go sour much quicker, things rot much quicker than during the rest of the year. (During the 'rotten-months' subtract 3 days for the best-before date for milk, and a full week for any meat/pork. Any food has to be eaten immediately after the container has been opened or it will go bad right away) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:36, 19 July 2011 (UTC)
So find some sources for all that and we can add it to the article. — LlywelynII 11:15, 4 March 2017 (UTC)

Dog meat[edit]


"Incidentally, dog meat is a food traditionally eaten during the hottest days of the year in South Korea." This seems not only incidental but out of place, having nothing to do with "dog days". I think it should go. Comments? Whogue 04:36, 8 January 2007 (UTC)

Yup. — LlywelynII 11:15, 4 March 2017 (UTC)


The eating of dog meat during the dog days in South Korea is not incidental. Koreans believe that the eating of dog meat bolsters one's metabolism to help one deal with the increased heat associated with the dog days. Also, the dog days in South Korea are quite specific days associated with the dog stars. (talk) 03:22, 11 December 2007 (UTC)badukplayer

East Asian astronomy and astrology are entirely separate from the western model. Their practices may belong at the article on summer but don't really have any place here unless modern Koreans have consciously connected their practices to the western "dog days". — LlywelynII 11:15, 4 March 2017 (UTC)
Koreans say dog meat gives you Stamina. Dog meat tastes like pot roast (talk) 03:38, 21 July 2008 (UTC)
So? — LlywelynII 11:15, 4 March 2017 (UTC)


Why is D in "Days" capitalized? Seems to me the article should be "Dog days". The phrase is more akin to "good old days" than "Labor Day", which is a proper holiday. Tritium6 (talk) 21:43, 22 August 2008 (UTC)

It shouldn't be capitalized. DeeKenn (talk) 00:47, 16 September 2008 (UTC)
They're both fine, but a capitalized form indicates taking it more seriously as a defined period involving the Dog Star. It's usually used more informally like that now, so the lower-case form is the COMMON ENGLISH one. — LlywelynII 11:15, 4 March 2017 (UTC)


August is routinely mentioned as the 'Dog Days' portion of the baseball season in baseball circles. It is seen as a point in the seaon where due to fatigue, the heat, and prior to the focusing of mental energies at the end of the season due to the pennant race, that play often gets sloppy. Is this worth mentioning in the main article? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:41, 2 July 2010 (UTC)

Absolutely, if you can find sourcing. — LlywelynII 11:15, 4 March 2017 (UTC)

Dog Days Bright and Clear[edit]

I've removed the annoying "citation needed" tag at the end of this quote. The citation is provided as a part of the text in the very next paragraph. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Sofa King (talkcontribs) 21:47, 2 July 2010 (UTC)

The better move here is, y'know, to actually put the citation in the correct place. — LlywelynII 11:15, 4 March 2017 (UTC)

Roman and Greek Usage[edit]

If the Greeks used the term "Dog Days" first, why does is the article written with the reference to the Roman usage first? Surely the Greek usage and the reference to the Greek's connecting it the Dog Star should be the main part of the naming section, with the progression to usage by the Romans later? (talk) 14:43, 7 July 2011 (UTC)

Fixed, but of course the Roman use comes first in the etymology section. That's whence the English got it and we're using their language in this corner of Wikipedia. Of course the Greeks should be covered first in the history section. — LlywelynII 11:15, 4 March 2017 (UTC)

Potentially misleading commentary in article.[edit]

"Because the length of each Julian Calendar year was 11 minutes 48 seconds too long, over the centuries, seasonal changes gradually occurred on earlier and earlier dates..."

NO! (well this is simply misleading)

do the math (it hurts i know)

11.8 minutes a year::::
11.8/60min =.1966
.1966/12hr = .01638
.01638/7days = .0023412
.0023412/4weeks = 5.85E-4
5.85E-4/12months = 4.87E-5
recip. = 20501 YEARS TO ADD A YEAR!

So it takes 20501/52 to add ONE week to the Julian calendar when compared to a gregorian. Thus: about 400 years = one week. 1400 years of roman empire = a month...December and February are both cold. June and August are both hot. I doubt after 1400 years written record were all that wonderfully readable. Unfounded i think is the word. -Andy (a scientist) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:03, 1 September 2012 (UTC)

For a scientist, you're not very clever ;) "Seasonal changes" in this part of the article isn't talking about it in terms of seasons of the year/the weather. It is talking about "seasonal changes of the orbits/star patterns", which DO gradually get earlier each year. However slow it is, it is still a gradual seasonal change. In fact, the first sentence of that part explains it: "Due to introduction of the modern Gregorian Calendar, 11 days must be added to each of the 16th and 17th Century dates referenced above for them to correlate correctly with modern-day dates as concerns astronomical observations and climate." Sure, the word 'seasonal' might be swapped out for a better synonym, but all your calculations did was prove the article is, indeed, correct: Gradually (as you pointed out, so gradually it's almost imperceptible unless you look back at it in hindsight with modern calenders/astronomy calculations/etc, as we are), changes occurred to the dates of star movements.- (talk) 22:36, 16 June 2013 (UTC)


This is in reference to "These are the days of the year with the least rainfall in the Northern Hemisphere". We're talking about half the planet here-weather patterns vary widely with latitude and with west-coast vs. east-coast differences caused by ocean currents. For example, in South Asia this is the monsoon season, with some of the heaviest rainfall on the planet occurring in the Himalayas during this period. I'm not sure what we should change it to- the generalization definitely works for Mediterranean climates such as southern Europe, but I'm not sure where else. Chuck Entz (talk) 05:41, 6 August 2013 (UTC)

Removed. — LlywelynII 11:15, 4 March 2017 (UTC)

Adding a Further reading section to provide[edit]

…a temporary place for sources not yet fully extracted to appear in the main body. After they are fully extracted, if there is no surpassing reason for them to remain, they can be deleted. However, I'd ask that they not be removed until the content that they offer is fully used in this currently weak and weakly sourced article. Le Prof Leprof 7272 (talk) 04:36, 30 July 2015 (UTC)

A little better now. — LlywelynII 11:15, 4 March 2017 (UTC)

Moving text long unintelligible and poorly referenced[edit]

…here to Talk, from the "Origin of name" section, for its awkwardness and confusion (as a constructed, cohesive paragraph), and vis-a-vis its verifiability:

Sirius is also the brightest star in the night sky. The term "Dog Days" was used earlier by the Greeks (see, e.g., Aristotle's Physics, 199a2). The Dog Days originally were the time of the year when Sirius rose just before or at the same time as the sun (heliacal rising, in Conjunction (astronomy) with), which is no longer true, owing to precession of the equinoxes. It was classically depicted as Orion's dog. The Ancient Greeks thought that Sirius's emanations could affect dogs adversely, making them behave abnormally during the "dog days," the hottest days of the summer. The Romans knew these days as dies caniculares, and the star Sirius was called Canicula, "little dog." The excessive panting of dogs in hot weather was thought to place them at risk of desiccation and disease. In extreme cases, a foaming dog might have rabies, which could infect and kill humans whom they had bitten.

The original editors should re-edit it to make the intended meanings clear, while at the same time making sure each factual claim is supported by an inline citation (at end of phrase, or at least end of sentence)—it is better to have too may appearances, and for later editors to be sure what came from where, than to have too few and leave us confused.

As well, have marked further such text—the section on the date span of the dog days—noting that the most of the long interpretive paragraph/content regarding the Book of Common Prayer and the Gregorian calendar has remained unsourced since its inception and so is simple WP:Original Research by that contributing editor. S/he may be right about these data and interpretations, but we are not called on to take unsourced, non-common-knowledge edits, simply on faith. This material has violated WP:VERIFY from the start.

Like the foregoing, this section as a whole is largely is awkward and confusing as a constructed, cohesive paragraph (and so to me, unintelligible). Because of this, and the poor referencing, I have asked that this hodgepodge of an editorial essay be looked at by a subject matter expert (meteorology? may not be best, feel free to change), and by that expert, replaced by a single, well-sourced paragraph or two, stating what scholarly sources say about the original, ancient historical perspective on the span of these days, and what a modern general understanding of the term and span should be.

Finally, note: the [original research?] tags were added, but the [citation needed] tags mostly are years old. Please, feel free to take this apart—adding better material likewise sourced, correcting any naive errors, improving the appearance. But if you are going to make a big change, like reverting, I expect that you will discuss it here as I have. Cheers. Le Prof Leprof 7272 (talk) 01:55, 30 July 2015 (UTC)

Eh, prof, just because you don't understand the vocab and can't be arsed to follow the links doesn't mean that it's actually confusing. That said, Sirius and the dog days themselves are separate topics and should be introduced separately. The astronomical terms should also be glossed to help our readers. Fixed. — LlywelynII 11:15, 4 March 2017 (UTC)

"Sirius rises several weeks later now than in Roman times"[edit]

There is a citation for that and it's not utterly wrong, but it's effectively so. The Julian date—which is what we use for almost all ancient dating because it's what the ancients themselves eventually used—has held almost completely steady w/r/t Sirius. Almost the entire shift in the position of the heliacal rising of Sirius in the calendar has occurred as an effect of the Gregorian reform to the calendar and not as a result of Sirius's celestial movement, which is what the article was previously implying. — LlywelynII 11:15, 4 March 2017 (UTC)


The Old Farmer's Almanac notwithstanding, Egypt's treatment of Sirius—as harbinger of the Nile flood, as periodic marker of the completion of the great year, as a goddess protecting the land's fertility—has absolutely nothing to do with the Greco-Roman concept of it as a scorching destructive monster connected with dogs. There is minor conflation of Sopdet and Anubis in Hellenized Egypt but that's because of the intrusion of Greek culture, not anything native to the Egyptians themselves. The importance of Sirius to Egyptian culture can be noted, but it shouldn't be conflated with the Greeks and has nothing whatsoever to do with the origin of the idea of dog days. — LlywelynII 22:44, 4 March 2017 (UTC)