I read somewhere this week the phrase ‘dressed to the nine’ and thought, “That’s not right!”. It should be nines. Dressed (up) to the nines as in all dressed up in your best clothes. Which immediately made me sing two lines of Don’t Cry for me, Argentina –‘All you will see is a girl you once knew, although she’s dressed up to the nines, at sixes and sevens with you’. Clever lyric writing. And I realised there are an awful lot of sayings involving numbers. At sixes and sevens is confusion, disarray, disagreement for Evita. And if things get impossible to solve, you could find yourself behind the eight ball. That might drive you to drink but be careful not to have one over the eight (the eight glasses of beer an average man is presumed to be able to drink before becoming really drunk). If you do however have one over the eight, you will be three sheets to the wind. Two lovely expressions made obsolete by decimalisation are six of one and half a dozen of the other, when there’s really no difference and a baker’s dozen (which is actually thirteen because the baker added an extra loaf in order to be sure they wouldn’t be accused of giving the customer too little weight). And an angry customer might just give the baker a bunch of fives in that case (a punch).