The phrase “on cloud nine” is an idiom that means a person is feeling happy or delighted.
The Origin Of ‘On Cloud Nine’
The phrase “on cloud nine” possibly comes from meteorologists, who sometimes classified different types of clouds by using numbers. The number given to a cloud was apparently dependent on its altitude. So, for example, a cloud given a 9 meant that it was high up, whereas a cloud given a smaller number indicated it was lower down. Something along those lines.
Anyways, in comparison to other commonly used phrases, this one in particular doesn’t look that old. It’s earliest appearance (that I know of) is in the Denton Record Chronicle, May 1949. To give some context for the following quote, a woman named Betty Hutton was accepted for a movie role, so she describes her feelings with this expression:
“Let’s look in on Betty Hutton, who says she is hovering ‘on Cloud No Nine’ these days.”
Similar phrases to “on cloud nine” include “as happy as a clam,” “as happy as a pig in mud,” and “over the moon.” Here are some example sentences:
- Brian on was on cloud nine after his wife told him that she was pregnant.
- I bought my son an action figure of a character from his favorite TV show. He was over the moon with excitement when he saw it.
- I was craving a sweet snack and there’s one chocolate bar left in the box! I’m as happy as a pig in mud right now.
- I haven’t eaten all day, so once I grab a bite to eat I’ll as happy as a clam.