Cloud 9 is an idiom
for a state of joy, euphoria
, or extreme happiness. Usually "cloud 9" is coupled with the "on" preposition
"Those chocolate bunny
ears were so good I was on cloud 9! I love consuming simulated fluffy animals!"
There are a couple theories regarding this expression's origin. An early cloud classification system had nine levels of cloud classification
. The cumulonimbus
clouds, the most fluffy cotton candy
ish of clouds, were slotted in at the 9 position. Clouds, heaven, angel
s have long been associated. A true state of euphoria might be considered being up on the cloud 9 level, upon the most aesthetically pleasing of clouds.
Alternatively, the number 9 is considered a very pure number. It's a trinity
of trinities. Three times three. Hence the expression "dressed to the nines
", which means well dressed. So being up on a cloud numbered 9 is surely a good thing, if you adhere to a childhood fantasy of heaven. For those who believe oxygen deprivation
has the greater downside, well, it's a somewhat silly allusion
A strong possibility for the origin comes to us from Buddhism
. In Buddhism one ascends 10 clouds. Cloud 9 is a state of enlightenment
, where one's acts are done without regard for the self. However, the expression's popular use makes this suspect. Being on cloud 9 almost always refers to a rather selfish state of self satisfaction.