Why do we say "Possession is nine points of the law.

Well-Known Expressions

Possession is nine points of the law

Meaning:

The person who has physical control of a property has an advantage over anyone claiming rightful ownership.

Background:

Other variations (all considered correct): Possession is nine points of the law (nine parts of the law, nine-tenths of the law etc).

Possession is nine-tenths of the law is not a law at all, merely a truism of human nature - that the person who actually holds the item, land or whatever, is in a stronger position than any claimant.

Based on a brief glance at human history, it seems likely that variations on this sentiment would trace back a long, long way, but the earliest written use of the proverb in its modern day form is in Thomas Draxe's Bibliotheca Scholastica (1616): "Possession is nine points of the Law".

Alphabetical list of expressions

Challenge yourself with BookBrowse Wordplays

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten!

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket
    The Hermit
    by Thomas Rydahl
    If you can be comfortable with Scandinavian noir played out against the sun-drenched backdrop of ...
  • Book Jacket: The Radium Girls
    The Radium Girls
    by Kate Moore
    In 1915, Austrian-born Sabin von Sochocky developed a luminescent paint that used radium to create a...
  • Book Jacket: Long Black Veil
    Long Black Veil
    by Jennifer Finney Boylan
    "This was a long time ago, before my first death, and none of us now are the people we were then. ...

Win this book!
Win News of the World

News of the World

A brilliant work of historical fiction that explores the boundaries of family, responsibility, honor, and trust.

Enter

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    The Weight of Ink
    by Rachel Kadish

    An intellectual, suspenseful, and entertaining page-turner.
    Reader Reviews

Word Play

Solve this clue:

T's S I Numbers

and be entered to win..

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
The One-in-a-Million Boy by Monica Wood

A richly layered novel of hearts broken seemingly beyond repair and then bound by a stunning act of human devotion.

About the book
Join the discussion!

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.