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16 Sep. What does it mean to “be on cloud nine?”

If you are in an English speaking part of the world then you are very likely to hear someone say “I am on cloud nine.” If you would like to learn what this expression means and be able to integrate it into your vocabulary then keep reading!


The phrase is used to express a feeling of extreme happiness or elation. The expression denotes the highest degree of happiness when a person feels, to use another idiom, on top of the world.


The idea of using clouds in figurative expressions originated in the United States and the first recorded use dates to the year 1935 in The Underworld Speaks by Albin Pollock. It reads “Cloud eight, befuddled on account of drinking too much liquor.”

It is a few years later, in 1946, that the expression “cloud nine” is first used. This is in The Oxnard Press-Courier which reads “I think he has thought of everything, unless the authorities pull something new on him out of cloud nine.”


A famous example of the expression in use is in the title and lyrics of the George Harrison song “Cloud Nine.” One of the verses including the lyrics is the following;

“Take my hope
Maybe even share a joke
If there’s good to be shown
You may make it all your own
And if you want to quit that’s fine
While you’re out looking for cloud nine.”

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