Q From Ernie Epp: What is the beginning of the expression cloud nine because that a really happy person?

A The phrase to be on cloud nine, an interpretation that one is blissfully happy, began life in the unified States and has to be widely recognized there since the 1950s.

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Dusty Rhodes of the Giants admitted this particular day he will need to come under off cloud ripe pretty soon and also go to occupational again.

Holland evening Sentinel, 20 April 1955. Rhodes was an outfielder because that the new York Giants, a baseball player around whom the was claimed that top top the surface he seemed to be can not to run, hit, throw, or field, but who beat friend anyway; he’s quiet remembered by aficionados the the game as help to for sure his team’s 4 – 0 victory in the 1954 world Series.

The expression is regularly said to have actually been popularised by the Johnny Dollar radio present of the at an early stage 1950s, in i beg your pardon every time the hero to be knocked unconscious he to be transported come cloud nine. I can’t uncover a modern reference to this. But there was an additional show, often noted alongside the in the schedules:

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

Portland Sunday Telegram, 2 July 1950. Originally produced in Chicago through the CBS affiliate WBBM, this to be the show’s network premiere, one of several that summer funded by the chewing-gum manufacturer.

This is the an initial use the the expression we have. However 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 around Catalina Island in June 1947 was called Cloud Nine.

Variant develops of the expression room recorded even earlier.

Cloud eight is known from Albin Pollock’s glossary The secret Speaks that 1935, in i beg your pardon it’s defined as “befuddled ~ above account of drinking too lot liquor” and also which might owe component of that genesis come the 1930 car, the Reo flying Cloud Eight. Later, it appears to have actually referred come a dreamy state:

Any worth-while job takes year of patience and hard work, however why not stop day-dreaming, come in off cloud eight, and get began this year instead of next?

Chicago daily Tribune, 13 may 1945.

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

There’s likewise cloud seven:

We latched top top an ultimate meetin’ whereby a regional crew to be makin’ v the music that preferred to absent the roof and also everyone was havin’ a ball. Lots of noises, several sounds that put us up on cloud 7 though we weren’t in the States. The drummer to be beatin’ the skins, The pianist was really ticklin’ the eighty-eight. The sax male was frantic and also the horn to be the most.

Pacific Stars and Stripes, 20 January 1954. The writer, exclusive Joe Nevens of the us Army, is taking R&R through friends in Tokyo. “Crush me, Dad, I’m stoned.” There’s additionally the 1952 tune Cloud happy Seven by Charles Tobias and Peter DeRose that male Mitchell got 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 aid lyricists by rhyming, remind us of the Jewish and also Islamic seventh heaven, the many exalted level, the location where God dwells over the angels, the souls of the righteous, and the souls of those however to be born, hence the phrase seventh heaven together a ar or state of can be fried bliss, which dates from the later eighteenth century.

Cloud nine and also its variations have constantly had nearby associations v the euphoria the is induced by specific chemicals, as you have the right to tell indigenous the quotations — alcohol in its earlier days but more recently cannabis and also crack cocaine. The cloud below is an obvious reference to part drug-induced dreamy floating sensation.

This link, and also the numerical variations, renders deeply doubt a typical story around its beginning — the it is from the us Weather Bureau. This organization is stated to define (or when did describe) clouds by one arithmetic sequence. Level nine to be the highest possible cumulonimbus, which deserve to reach 30,000 or 40,000 feet and also appear as glorious white mountains in the sky. Therefore if you to be on cloud nine you to be at the an extremely peak that existence. Ns can find no evidence at every to assistance this classification’s existence.

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I doubt that seven was chosen in component because of the spiritual associations and also because it’s a traditional lucky number and that cloud was substituted because that heaven due to the fact that of the links with the drug-induced sensation. Today’s an ext usual nine might have concerned be preferred because it reminds world of various other idioms, such together dressed come the nines and the totality nine yards.