Cloud 9


Having only recently begun the decent from Cloud 9, I was set pondering on  where exactly Cloud 9 is and where it came from. It is obviously where you get ‘Love Potion number 9’ from but where is it?

Nine is a lucky number, especially in China,  and crops up in ‘a cat’s nine lives’,  ‘dressed to the nines’, ‘a stitch in time saves nine’ and ‘the whole nine yards’. However, nobody seems exactly sure where Cloud 9 arrived from; most opinions seem to agree that it became a popular phrase in the 1950’s in America and probably came from a radio show called ‘Johnny Dollar’; however Cloud 9 had been floating about before then, although sometimes it was Cloud 8 or even Cloud 7. It was certainly in use in the 1930’s and some people reckon it relates to weather, that clouds (real clouds) were given numbers as they went higher and cumulonimbus can apparently reach as high as 40,000 feet (the big fluffy ones)  and cloud level 9 was supposedly the highest. Maybe it did have a scientific origin, as the 1896 edition of the International Cloud Atlas (is it true? Was there really a cloud atlas?) defines ten types of cloud, the ninth of which was lovely soft and fluff cumulonimbus. When you are on Cloud 9 you really do feel as if you’re walking on air, and as soft and fluffy as a great big cumulonimbus!


There may be a Buddhist connotation or connection, as the ninth and penultimate stage of a Bodhisattva when all his or her actions are completely unselfish and  done without desire… so that is a lovely thought too…

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