We have a heatwave, in Brittany where I am passing my summer holiday, the French for which is ‘la canicule’. I was pondering the origin of this and suddenly thought it might be related to the English expression ‘Dog Days’. And it is......it comes from Latin dies caniculares, literally puppy days. The Romans got from the Greeks the idea that the star that follows Orion ( the Hunter) in rising is the Dog, also called Sirius, which apparently means ‘scorcher’ in Greek (seirios). Sirius rises in mid July, when the Mediterranean summer is getting to its hottest. French has slightly detached it from its place in the calendar, to mean a heatwave, regardless of the time of year. I find making connections of this kind helps me to remember a new word, in this case la canicule. Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!