Posted by James Briggs on May 18, 2007
In Reply to: Ninety day wonder posted by Jim Baker on May 17, 2007
: "Ninety day wonder" I believe this refers to a person, who during WWII, went to Officers training, in the military, in the USA. Is that true?
I've only ever heard of a 'nine days wonder'. The 'ninety' is probable just a derivative of this old one. Suggested origins are:
An old proverb states "A wonder lasts nine days, and then the puppy's eyes are open", alluding to dogs which, like cats, are born blind. The public are reckoned to be blind initially, but then their eyes are opened.
Although a plausible explanation, there is another. The Late Latin word "novena" is a term used in the Roman Catholic Church for a devotion lasting for nine consecutive days. Once completed a new one may be instituted and the other forgotten. Perhaps Protestants derided this custom and made mention of it as a nine days' wonder.