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: Hunger
    Hunger
    by Roxane Gay
    In this penetrating and fearless memoir, author Roxane Gay discusses her battle with body acceptance...
  • Book Jacket: The Black Witch
    The Black Witch
    by Laurie Forest
    In The Black Witch, Laurie Forest introduces her readers to an immersive fantasy world where ...
  • Book Jacket: See What I Have Done
    See What I Have Done
    by Sarah Schmidt
    Sarah Schmidt's historical fictionalization of the Lizzie Borden story is a tsunami. From the ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
Cruel Beautiful World by Caroline Leavitt

Cruel Beautiful World examines the intricate, infinitesimal distance between seduction and love, loyalty and duty.

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Happiness
    by Heather Harpham

    A love story that follows a one-of-a-kind family through twists of fate that require nearly unimaginable choices.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win Hame

Hame by Annalena McAfee

A rich, sultry novel about a young American fleeing a crumbling marriage for a remote Scottish island.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

A F Out O W

and be entered to win..

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.