MooT Question Icon
According to philologist Robert Claiborne, the US Weather Bureau defines it as: "a cumulonimbus that can reach 40,000 feet high." What two-word cliche is it?




Etymology, Etymology, and more Etymology
as well as grammar, usage, euphemism, slang, jargon, semantics, linguistics, neologism, idiom, cant, and argot.


A picture of a moot game

The critically-acclaimed board game MooT
consists of tough questions about the nuances of the English language.
To join our mailing list and get
free brain-twisting MooT questions sent to you irregularly,
enter your email address and then press submit.

E-Mail address:




Back to home page



Answer: cloud nine

In Loose Cannons and Red Herrings, Claiborne implies that the Bureau's definition led to this figure of speech. However, Merriam-Webster states that the term derives from the name of the highest heaven in Dante's Paradise.

Copyright 1998-2009 Blair Arts Ltd. All rights reserved.