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9 – The Most Magical Number in English

Nine Number

Many probably expected that we will talk about some more trivial examples like 7 or 3, but no. There are several films with the name "9", except this there is a musical, a computer game and a TV series – impressive! And most importantly – there are a huge number of idioms and expressions dedicated to 9. Let us discard the stereotypes that numbers are needed only for mathematicians, and expressions – only for the humanities and writers. Combine this all and get an unsurpassed result. So, here are some of these expressions.

On Cloud Nine

In some languages, there is an expression associated with the seventh heaven, it denotes the highest degree of happiness. In English, the ninth cloud has the same meaning. Apparently, this is by analogy with the nine circles of hell – there must be a paradise on the ninth cloud.

I just lack a box of chocolates to be on cloud nine.

A Cat Has Nine Lives

Information on how many lives a cat has differed from language to language. In Spain, for example, they believe that the cat has seven ones, the Germans say the same thing, in the Arab countries they counted six, but the rest of the world believes that after all the cat has nine lives.

Interesting thing: he was hit by a car, he hit his head on the iron fence, but got off with a couple of scratches. How can this be called? He is a cat who has nine lives.


We are moving from cats to other living creatures. K-9 (read canine, i.e. "doggy") – this is a special unit of the American police, working with dogs. In other countries with other languages, the unit with them also began to be called K-9, although the linguistic connection is no longer obtained.

Even the most inventiveand resourceful criminals will not escape from our K-9 unit. It is impossible to fool the dog.

A Stitch in Time Saves Nine

What is this about? Here we see a direct reference to sewing because it is much better to make more stitches and sew a hole than to do one and watch how it grows. You can apply this idiom figuratively about something that can be done in advance, preventing future problems.

It seems to me that it is better to remake it before it is too late. It looks insufficiently presentable, and the proportions are violated. After all, a stitch in time saves nine.


From 9 to 5 – this is how long the average working day lasts. And this is how is called stable work with a constant schedule. Among other things, we have the opportunity to observe that the working day begins at nine o'clock. Coincidence, necessity, calculation? Everyone is free to assume anything, but the fact remains the fact.

I had nine-to-five work, like all normal people. However, after that, I went to work in the restaurant sphere and now I do not understand, when is the day and when is the night. However, I am satisfied.

The Whole Nine Yards

There is a film about nine yards, and there is an expression about it. In fact, the whole nine yards means "everything, entirely, to the end, completely". The origin of the expression is vague – whether it is the length of machine-gun tape, whether the volume of a concrete mixer (cubic yards) or the length of a cut of fabric for tailoring a suit… By the way, 9 yards is just over 8 meters.

What are we going to eat today? Do not forget that this is an expensive restaurant, we can afford either an hors d'oeuvrewith dessert or just a main dish and drink. Come on, we have a celebration today! Let us order the whole nine yards!

The power of 9 is not only its presence in idiomatic expressions. It plays an important role in culture, astrology and is a symbol of life.

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