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To be on cloud nine means to be blissfully happy. See the Related Link for how this phrase came to be part of our language.

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According to the "Morris Dictionary of Word and Phrase Origins," the phrase is based on U.S. Weather Service terminology. This theory holds that cloud types are numbered, and that "cloud nine" is the designation given to "cumulonimbus" clouds, the highest-flying clouds around, making them an apt metaphor for being "on top of the world."

When "you're on cloud nine" you feel wonderful ! Like nothing else is really very important.


The "Morris Dictionary" is an abysmally bad reference. Ironically, the best reference is "The Word Detective" written by Evan Morris, the son of the Morrises. Most of the above quote actually comes from this site, but cuts off before Evan politely corrects his parents' theory.

Search for "Cloud Nine" at


While all of the above may be true, the 9th letter of the Latin alphabet is "I". Hence, being on cloud 9 might be taken to imply one is full of oneself, however it is also a number used frequently by The Beatles ("Revolution 9"), John Lennon ("#9 Dream") and George Harrison in particular released an album with Jeff Lynne from Electric Light Orchestra titled "Cloud Nine" with its 1st track called "Cloud 9". Switching from spelling the number and using the numeral must have been done for a reason. Interestingly, scoring in tennis matches is also relevant where tennis games always start out at a score of Love-Love, with the 1st point scored equal to 15, where the 15th letter of the Latin alphabet is "O", with the second point being 30, so the game goes up by O's till the 3rd point which is 40. Also relevant are song lyrics such as "nothing's going to change my world" in "Across the Universe" which appear to pertain to The Beatles chorus of "Love, Love, Love" in "All you need is Love" which if nothing else, is a song preaching empowerment given lyrics stating: "Nothing you can do that ain't been done, nothing you can sing that ain't been sung....". Placing a zero in front of any number fails to change its value (007 is no different than 7), but placing any number behind zero, particularly the number 9 (90) results in "right". So the idea of being right with the world and the number 9 are not incompatible, despite the Greek alphabet defining their letter "i" or iota "an insignificant amount".

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โˆ™ 2011-08-02 06:25:10
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Q: What is the meaning of the idiom 'on cloud 9'?
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