Friday, February 2, 2024

It's "Groundhog Day," not "Groundhog's Day"...and other unimportant considerations for February 2nd

By Chris Flook - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

We've already established the proper name of today's holiday in the headline, and we're all rational people who do not believe the weather is in any way influenced by Marmota monax seeing  or not seeing  his/her shadow.

So we'll mention neither of those things.

Instead, I offer up these three items:

  • Something you almost certainly knew that I didn't (or else I knew it at one point and forgot) is that the terms "groundhog" and "woodchuck" refer to the same animal. This caught me off guard. It made me wonder how much hog could a groundhog hog if a groundhog could ground hog? But then I stopped wondering that because it made me feel uncomfortable in an Urban Dictionary sort of way.

  • I feel obligated to mention the 1993 Bill Murray movie "Groundhog Day," so I'm doing it here. Specifically, I point you to a video I posted on this blog three years ago that answers the question, "How many times did Phil Connors (Murray's character) have to relive Groundhog Day in the movie?" Here's a direct link to the video on YouTube. I won't reveal the answer, but it's way more than I originally thought.

  • Speaking of the movie, the idea of a never-ending Groundhog Day is painfully appropriate for those of us living in Northeast Ohio or similar four-season/temperate climates. By this point we're mostly sick of winter, and there's no indication it's going to end any time soon (Pennsylvania Dutch superstition notwithstanding). We've had measurable snow in early May, for crying out loud. Do you think we're feeling hope on the 2nd of February? We are not. At least the holiday now acknowledges that, thanks to Bill Murray.

1 comment:

  1. So anyway, how much ground could a groundhog hog if a groundhog could hog ground?