About February: Mes Corto, Dias Luengos

“Not good for the body and the pocket, if in February you see the shadow of the dog.”

Neal Burdick '72

Last March, Assistant Professor of Geology Alexander Stewart announced on campus that February 2015 had achieved the dubious distinction of being the coldest mean-temperature February in Canton in nearly 100 years, with a mean temperature (the average of a series of temperatures taken over a period of time, according to MiMi Meteorology) of 3.3˚F. (There were those who snarled that that was a very mean temperature.)

Earlier, Karl Schonberg, associate dean of international studies, had passed along this Spanish proverb courtesy of Martha Chew Sanchez, program director in Spain: “Febrero el revoltoso no pasó de veintiocho; si treinta tuviera, nadie con él pudiera.” (“February, the troublemaker, did not go beyond twenty-eight [days]; if it had thirty, no one could have survived.”)

Professor Chew followed up with some more: 

  • “Febrero es el más corto y el menos cortés.” (“February, the shortest and least polite.”)
  • “Febrero, mes corto, dias luengos.” (“February, short month, long days.”)

She added a “can’t win” one: “Si hace un buen febrero, malo será el año entero.” (“If we have a good February, the rest of the year will be bad.”)

Finally, she offered one that will remind Americans of Groundhog Day: “Mal para cuerpo y bolsa, si en febrero ves a la sombra el perro y en mangas de camisa el jornalero.” (“Not good for the body and the pocket, if in February you see the shadow of the dog.”)

From St. Lawrence to you, here’s to a nice, but not too good, February with no dog shadows.