Words related to sirius

dog days (n.)

"period of dry, hot weather at the height of summer," 1530s, from Latin dies caniculares, the idea, though not the phrase, from Greek; so called because they occur around the time of the heliacal rising of Sirius, the Dog Star (kyōn seirios). Noted as the hottest and most unwholesome time of the year; often reckoned as July 3 to August 11, but variously calculated, depending on latitude and on whether the greater Dog-star (Sirius) or the lesser one (Procyon) is reckoned.

The heliacal rising of Sirius has shifted down the calendar with the precession of the equinoxes; in ancient Egypt c. 3000 B.C.E. it coincided with the summer solstice, which also was the new year and the beginning of the inundation of the Nile. The "dog" association apparently began here (the star's hieroglyph was a dog), but the reasons for it are now obscure.

canicular (adj.)
late 14c., in caniculer dayes, the "dog days" around mid-August, from Latin canicularis "pertaining to the dog days or the Dog Star," from canicula "little dog," also "the Dog Star," diminutive of canis "a dog" (from PIE root *kwon- "dog"). In literal use ("pertaining to a dog") historically only as attempt at humor.

Also see Sirius, and compare heliacal. The ancient Egyptian canicular year was computed from the heliacal rising of Sirius; the canicular cycle of 1,461 years is how long it would take a given day to pass through all seasons in an uncorrected calendar.
dog star (n.)

"Sirius," 1570s; see Sirius; also see dog days.

Procyon (n.)

bright star in the constellation Canis Minor (the 8th brightest in the sky), 1650s, from Latin, from Greek Prokyōn, the name of the star or the constellation (which has few other visible stars), from pro "before" (see pro-) + kyōn "dog" (from PIE root *kwon- "dog"). So called from its rising just before the "Dog Star," Sirius.

By Roman astronomers, sometimes Latinized as Antecanis. A mid-15c. English Prochion seems to refer to the constellation.