Q From Ernie Epp: What is the beginning of the expression cloud nine for a an extremely happy person?

A The phrase to be on cloud nine, an interpretation that one is blissfully happy, began life in the unified States and also has to be widely well-known there due to the fact that the 1950s.

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Dusty Rhodes the the Giants admitted now he will have to come down off cloud ripe pretty soon and also go to job-related again.

Holland night Sentinel, 20 April 1955. Rhodes to be an outfielder because that the brand-new York Giants, a baseball player around whom the was said that top top the surface he seemed to be unable to run, hit, throw, or field, but who beat friend anyway; he’s still remembered by aficionados the the game as help to ensure his team’s 4 – 0 win in the 1954 world Series.

The expression is frequently said to have actually been popularised by the Johnny Dollar radio present of the early 1950s, in which every time the hero was knocked unconscious he was transported to cloud nine. I can’t find a contemporary reference come this. But there was one more show, often listed alongside the in the schedules:

Cloud Nine. Friday. 8:00 p.m. This excitingly brand-new show gift by the Wm. Wrigley Jr., Co. Blends fantasy, music, drama and also comedy into 30 minute of imaginative entertainment.

Portland Sunday Telegram, 2 July 1950. Originally developed in Chicago through the CBS affiliate WBBM, this was the show’s network premiere, among several that summer funded by the chewing-gum manufacturer.

This is the very first use of the expression we have. Yet there is indirect proof that it was by then currently known. Together one instance, the Los Angeles Times reported the a yacht taking component in a race approximately Catalina Island in June 1947 was called Cloud Nine.

Variant creates of the expression are recorded even earlier.

Cloud eight is recognized from Albin Pollock’s glossary The secret Speaks the 1935, in i beg your pardon it’s defined as “befuddled on account of drink too much liquor” and which might owe part of its genesis to the 1930 car, the Reo flying Cloud Eight. Later, it seems to have actually referred to a dreamy state:

Any worth-while job takes years of patience and also hard work, but why not protect against day-dreaming, come in off cloud eight, and get started this year rather of next?

Chicago daily Tribune, 13 may 1945.

and was used later on the exact same year in a radio display with a distinctively oddball feeling of humour, Rogue’s Gallery, in i m sorry the private eye Richard Rogue, play by dick Powell, to be knocked senseless each episode and also transported come cloud eight, wherein his alter ego, Eugor, provided him hints that aided him settle the mystery.

There’s additionally cloud seven:

We latched top top an ultimate meetin’ whereby a local crew was makin’ through the music that liked to absent the roof and also everyone to be havin’ a ball. Several noises, lots of sounds that placed us increase on cloud seven though us weren’t in the States. The drummer to be beatin’ the skins, The pianist was really ticklin’ the eighty-eight. The sax guy was frantic and the horn was the most.

Pacific Stars and also Stripes, 20 January 1954. The writer, personal Joe Nevens of the us Army, is acquisition R&R with friends in Tokyo. “Crush me, Dad, I’m stoned.” There’s additionally the 1952 track Cloud lucky Seven by Charles Tobias and also Peter DeRose that male Mitchell gained into the British hit parade in 1953 (“You’re walkin’ on cloud lucky seven / Hah, 7 is the cloud nearest heaven”) .

Seven and also heaven, a pair of indigenous that help lyricists through rhyming, remind us of the Jewish and also Islamic seventh heaven, the many exalted level, the location where God dwells end the angels, the souls of the righteous, and also the souls that those yet to it is in born, thus the expression seventh heaven together a ar or state of supreme bliss, which dates from the later on eighteenth century.

Cloud nine and also its variations have always had near associations v the euphoria that is induced by particular chemicals, as you deserve to tell native the quotations — alcohol in its earlier days but an ext recently cannabis and crack cocaine. The cloud below is an apparent reference to part drug-induced dreamy floating sensation.

This link, and the numerical variations, makes deeply suspect a usual story around its origin — that it is from the us Weather Bureau. This organization is said to explain (or once did describe) clouds by an arithmetic sequence. Level nine was the highest possible cumulonimbus, which deserve to reach 30,000 or 40,000 feet and appear as glorious white mountains in the sky. For this reason if you were on cloud nine you to be at the very peak the existence. Ns can find no evidence at every to assistance this classification’s existence.

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I doubt that seven was liked in component because of the religious associations and also because it’s a traditional lucky number and that cloud was substituted for heaven since of the links with the drug-induced sensation. Today’s more usual nine might have involved be preferred due to the fact that it reminds people of various other idioms, such as dressed come the nines and also the entirety nine yards.