What Does “Walking on Air” Mean? Where Does It Come From?

Have you ever felt so happy that you feel like floating? We use a phrase to describe this kind of excitement and happiness, the type you cannot measure. In this article, we will tell you the meaning of “Walking on Air” and its uses, as well as some other phrases related to it.

“Walking on Air” means feeling extremely excited or happy about something. The kind of happiness you feel when you are going to your dream destination for a vacation. When you get some excellent news, or when a woman that wanted a baby gets pregnant.

But this is not the type of happiness you get when you have a piece of cake or if you get a new job. It is something so unique that makes you feel ecstatic, excited, and out of this world.

Keep reading to know where this phrase comes from, how it is used, some recommended songs to match how happy you are feeling or to cheer you up a little bit if you are having a bad day.

Origins Of The Phrase

As with many other idioms, there is not an exact or just one story about the origin of the phrase “Walking on Air.” But it is a fact that its use dates back to the 1800s.

One theory says it comes from the word “elated,” which is a synonym of happy. Elated comes from the Latin word “elat,” which means “raised.”

Some people say the phrase came from the idea of feeling so happy you felt like floating. This particular thought led to the creation of the phrase “Walking on Air.”

There is a theory that says this phrase is the total opposite of being depressed. People tend to refer to being depressed as feeling “down,” so it is evident that you should be up if you are not down.

One of the first mentions of a form of this phrase was in the poem Isabella by John Keats:

“Parting they seemed to tread upon the air, Twin roses by the zephyr blown apart only to meet again more close.”

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How People Use The Phrase

To “Walk on Air” is often used in its progressive form “Walking on Air” to express a feeling. It could be in the past, present, or future times.

The type of happiness this phrase shows is more than getting a gift or when celebrating a birthday. It is the type of happiness that swipes you off your feet and makes you feel out of the planet.

Examples Of The Phrase In A Sentence

  1. When I received this scholarship to my dream college, I was walking on air.
  2. Stephen got his dream job a few years ago, and he was walking on air back then. Now he has grown a lot, and you can still see him elated.
  3. My daughter just graduated from college with the highest score, and she is so happy. She is walking on air.
  4. I just woke up feeling so happy, and it is like I am walking on air.
  5. I have always dreamed about getting married, the day of my wedding I bet I will feel like walking on air.
  6. Andrew told Sarah he had just had an interview and got the position for his dream job in his favorite city. He must be walking on air right now.
  7. I felt so happy when Tamara told me I would be a grandma. I was walking on air.
  8. Henry asked me to marry him last week. I am still walking on air.
  9. Michael kissed me on our first date. I was walking on air. It was so perfect!
  10. When her husband gets discharged from the army, she will be walking on air. She hasn’t seen him in ages.
  11. My dad got promoted, my mom is walking on air since he told her.
  12. I am going to France for the holidays. I feel like walking on air.
  13. “Sprewell attended the Knicks-Bucks game in Milwaukee last month when he spoke with Knicks public relations director Jonathan Supranowitz about returning to the Garden. A source said Sprewell was “walking on air” Sunday to be back.” – New York Post.
  14. The guy who won the lottery must be walking on air. I heard he got out of poverty just by being lucky.
  15. I am going to see my parents after what feels like ages. I am walking on air!
  16. My boyfriend told me he loved me. I was so happy I felt like I was walking on air.
  17. When his mom got discharged from the hospital after the accident, he was walking on air. He even threw a welcome back party with family and close friends!
  18. I am walking on air! I almost feel delirious. Thank you for this puppy! It is the perfect Christmas gift.
  19. He spent the whole day laughing and smiling after winning employee of the year. He is undoubtedly walking on air.
  20. He got me walking on air as soon as he asked me to be his girlfriend.

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Synonyms

There are some words and expressions that are like to be “walking on air.” Find some examples in the following list:

  • Elated
  • Very happy
  • To be on “cloud nine.”
  • Seventh heaven
  • Walking on sunshine
  • Euphoric
  • Extremely happy
  • Joyful 
  • To be dancing in the streets
  • As pleased as
  • Being filled with the joys of spring
  • Thrilled
  • Cheerful
  • In a happy place
  • Over the moon
  • Jump for joy
  • Feel like a million dollars
  • Be on top of the world
  • Upbeat 

Antonyms

In the following list, you can find some words or phrases that express the opposite of being walking on air:

  • Feeling down
  • Depressed
  • Feeling blue
  • Low spirits
  • A downer
  • Heavy-hearted
  • Upset
  • Discourage
  • Unfortunate
  • Miserable
  • Sorrowful
  • Melancholic

Songs To Feel Like Walking On Air

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This is such a great feeling that it has inspired many songwriters and composers around the world and years. Most of them talk about the happiness that comes when you fall in love or when you get the love of your loved one.

Here you can find a list of songs that talk about being so happy you feel like walking on air or even on top of the world.

Walking On Air By Kerli (2008)

“Feel it, breathe it, believe it

And you’ll be walking on air

Go try, go fly, so high

And you’ll be walking on air.” 

This song talks about how following your dreams and going with the flow can make you feel like walking on air.

Walking On Air By Katy Perry (2013)

“Tonight, tonight, tonight

I’m walking on air

Tonight, tonight, tonight

I’m walking on air

You’re giving me sweet, sweet ecstasy

Yeah, you take me to utopia

You reading me like erotica

Boy, you make me feel exotic, yeah.”

This song talks about how people feel when they have found true love. It’s a feeling of complete happiness beyond any understanding.

Walking On Air By Anise K (2012)

“Higher, flying, higher

Feels like I’m walking on air

Feels like I’m flying”

This song has a version with Snoop Dogg and describes the feeling of being in love.

Walking On Air By Bee Gees (2001)

“I think I’m walking on air

So much in love, I can’t tell what I’m saying

There’ll be no running away

You and I won’t be apart again

I know in my heart that we can start again”

This song talks about a couple that is apart. They will soon be together again. The man feels extremely happy about getting reunited with his partner once again.

Walking On Sunshine By Katrina And The Waves (1983)

“Now I’m walking on sunshine, whoa-oh

I’m walking on sunshine, whoa-oh

I’m walking on sunshine, whoa-oh

And don’t it feel good”

Even though this does not say walking on air, this one is pretty famous, evocating the same feeling. The lyrics tell the happiness of a woman after confirming her lover loves her back. Fun fact: you have heard this song at least once, as it is pretty popular in commercials.

Top Of The World By Carpenters (1972)

“I’m on the top of the world lookin’ down on creation

And the only explanation I can find

Is the love that I’ve found, ever since you’ve been around

Your love’s put me at the top of the world”

This song explains, like many others, how happy you are once you find your soulmate—the person who gives you all the love in the world.

Conclusion

Walking on air means to be so happy you just cannot stop yourself from glowing, jumping, and smiling like a fool.

There is no doubt that we have felt happy a bunch of times during our lives. But walking on air is definitely a feeling that most of us have felt just a few couples of times, or even less than that.

We want you to think about a time when you were genuinely happy. A time you just could not stop jumping cause you needed to let your happiness out. Have you ever felt like walking on air?

By Shawn Manaher

Shawn Manaher is the founder and CEO of The Content Authority. He's one part content manager, one part writing ninja organizer, and two parts leader of top content creators. You don't even want to know what he calls pancakes.