The 'dog days' do NOT refer to...

There are a total of 510 votes:

a period of forty days, beginning July 3 and ending August 11
(68 votes, 13%)
Red dot

a period of oppressive heat when canines become lazy and lethargic
(108 votes, 21%)
Red dot

an evil time when 'seas boil, wine turns sour, dogs grow mad, and all creatures become languid...'
(168 votes, 32%)
Red dot

the hottest, most humid days of summer
(56 votes, 10%)
Red dot

the rising of Sirius (the dog star), which is the brightest star in the heavens
(110 votes, 21%)
Red dot

Previous Polls

KC Metro area, MO(Zone 6a)

Looks like we were both wrong! LOL

Fairfield County, CT(Zone 6b)

And the reason is?

Wayland, MA(Zone 6a)

I got this one right but I must be honest I just saw a similar question on the "cash cab"

Huntsville, AL(Zone 7a)

Hmmmm.. the "evil time" scenario sounds just about right for this time of year! ;)


Hornick, IA(Zone 4b)

Hmmmmmm The hounds may not get lazy, But I sure do !!!!

Magnolia, TX(Zone 8b)

an evil time, when... reminds me of old sailors maps, " Here there be monsters"

Menasha, WI(Zone 5a)

I guessed Sirius, but only because I don't know astrology that well.

Magnolia, TX(Zone 8b)

the ? read, not what r the dog days, but what r they not!

Central, AL(Zone 7b)

It's bitter sweet to learn only 24 thus far is correct. There is hope, I can still learn new information. For I was wrong....and am yearning to learn more....

This message was edited Aug 18, 2008 11:29 AM

(Zone 6a)

I had no idea so I guessed Sirius

Yay, I knew this one. I remembered reading about the star and thought it was interesting. Does anyone know where the quote 'seas boil, wine turns sour...' comes from?

Lumberton, TX(Zone 8b)

This one had me confused, and I took a shot at the wrong one because my dog DOES get lazy! Then again, she's rarely anything BUT lazy...

Murfreesboro, TN(Zone 7a)

Wikipedia says the quote is from from Brady’s Clavis Calendarium, written in 1813:

Bessemer, AL(Zone 8b)

what is the right answer

Murfreesboro, TN(Zone 7a)

Look just beneath the voting booth results ;o)

Thunder Bay Ontario, ON(Zone 3a)

Believe it or not, the lazy hounds are not the reason they call these the dog days of summer!

I'm having an 'ACUTE Blonde Moment' .. so .. it's NOT the 40 days between July 3 and Aug. 11 .. sometimes I'm a bit slow on the uptake :-)

Actually .. here in Thunder Bay yesterday it was close to 95F .. today we are hardly cresting 68F !!!!!!!!!!
So the dog has had his ONE woof here :-)


Thanks, Terry. Very interesting.

(Kim) Philadelphi, PA(Zone 6a)

I got one right : )

Bartlesville, OK(Zone 6a)

Well, give me an example of seas boiling, wine turning sour and all creatures becoming languid.

I just don't believe it! LOL


Let's the wake of a motor boat, the sea could possibly look like it's boiling.
I have tasted some very sour wines.
The creatures in my house get very languid in August and tend to stay in the AC. I own a cat and she's always languid.

How's that? Are ya a believer yet? (grins)

(Zone 7a)

The seas boiling could refer to whirlpools. They happen quite often and uneducated sailors could have thought they were "boiling". Also, boiling could be churning and bubbling, not actual temperature.

Oxford, NS(Zone 5b)

Marilynne - it's all the answers EXCEPT the one about dogs being lazy (answer 2). The question was asking which was NOT the right answer. So the July 3- Aug 11 is one of the 4 correct answers about it. The one about lazy dogs is the only incorrect answer. Hope that makes sense and overcomes the blonde moment. :-) I have them all the time myself...

Belfield, ND(Zone 4a)

I got it wrong too. I guessed it was NOT that the most humid and hot days of summer. I've always thought of the dog days of summer as the last days before fall sets in, when it's starting to cool down.

My logic on the seas boiling was the hurricanes that occur this time of year. Sour wine? Dunno. Wine doesn't go sour in our house no matter what time of year it is. Dogs turn mad and all creatures become languid? To me, mad and languid don't belong in the same sentence, as they contradict each other. I probably would have voted for this one had it not been for the hurricane/boiling sea connection that I thought could possibly be correct.

And I still would have been wrong. ^_^

(Zone 7a)

Maybe mad and lanquid refers to rabies? I've heard it's more common during these days.

Fate, TX(Zone 8a)

i am not as bright as the rest of you so would someone please just spell it out...sorry dave but subtlety is always lost on me. just black and white...the dog days have nothing to do with.............somebody fill it in please so we can all get a good laugh on me once the obviousness of the thing is pointed out. lol.

Watertown, WI(Zone 5a)

Dave said:

Believe it or not, the lazy hounds are not the reason they call these the dog days of summer!

So, I'm guessing that this is the WRONG answer (which is what the question asked for):

a period of oppressive heat when canines become lazy and lethargic

It's a little confusing, because the poll also mentions Sirius, the dog star. So, you're not losing it, it just wasn't all that clear. :)

Oxford, NS(Zone 5b)

The dog days of summer have nothing to do with answer # 2: a period of oppressive heat when canines (i.e. dogs) become lazy and lethargic.

The dog days of summer DO have to do with the other 4 answers.

Thunder Bay Ontario, ON(Zone 3a)

I 'think' I HAVE it now :-) In another half an hour I'll be back and just as DIM !!!


Milton, MA(Zone 6a)

So the "dog days of summer" have nothing to do with actual doggies. And no way is Terry or Dave, much as we love them, gonna come up with 'seas boil, wine turns sour, dogs grow mad, and all creatures become languid...'! It was a trick question, and it tricked a lot of us! Not telling what my answer was. . . .


I got it right..........
hmmmmmmmm is the heat getting to peeps?
Don't blame ya for getting it wrong..........

Checked my greenhouse & it was 100F AFTER the hot part of the day lol
and that's in "cold" Canada LOL

Colorado Springs, CO(Zone 6a)

Oh I got it right! I heard on NPR this week about the dog star rising (which is the main star in Orien's hunting dog), and I've lived in Texas (I know what the dog days really refer to!) and I have known many a literary scholar (myself NOT included) so that is how I narrowed it down.
I had to look up the quote and it seems like it is from a book called "Clavis Calendarium" by Brady (?) lol go figure...I never get these polls right.

Morganton, NC

Got this one wrong too. I guess the seas boil, etc. during the dog days?

Southern, CT(Zone 6a)

We are now in the cat days of summer.

Makes as much sense as the dog days. Is the constellation Leo prominent in the sky?
Is there a constellation Leo?
It's been a long time since I studied astronomy.

Baton Rouge area, LA(Zone 8b)


Do not take this post too seriously because I`m just a gardener and not a rocket scientist.

I saw where Wikkipedia says the occurance of dog days is no longer the rise of Sirius just before or at the same time as sunrise because of precession of the equinoxes. It used to be according to the web site. That one is another "wrong" answer I think if related to things this day and age. The answer being wrong about dogs being lazy is ok too because the reference refers to "all creatures became languid" and it did not specify dogs. Actually, the others could be right because that is in the past "what has been said"and "what has to do with dog days" in the past. :)

P.S. My dogs are asleep in a cave they dug under their dog house so I believe the part about the lazy hounds is still true. These dogs may have gone mad as well growling at each other for the coolest spot to sleep. :)

Edited: link didn`t work so tried to fix it and also more clarification of meanings.

This message was edited Aug 19, 2008 11:34 AM

Baton Rouge area, LA(Zone 8b)

Check this out. It explains more about the brightest star Sirius the dog star and how it rises later in the year. I thought it was interesting so decided to post the link.

Joey in Conroe, TX(Zone 8b)

LOL I guessed the right answer, BUT I read it as Cannas becoming lazy and lethargic either way I guess....


I got this one right because we could stay up after taps in Boy Scout Camp if we signed up for star study. The staff person also had wild blue berry cookies for the star gazers. I'd sign up for either to this day. :))) That was sixty years ago. I still crave the cookies.

Havelock, Canada

The answer was in an article posted in DG recently and I still got it wrong- Big DUH for me.

Elaine and Otis

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