idiom: a rain check

This week’s idiom is a very interesting one. It is “a rain check”, and we use it when someone invites us to do something. We want to do it but we can’t, so we use this expression to tell them we would like to do it at another time in the future. For example:

A: Would you like to have a drink with me after work?

B: I’d love to, but I have other plans. I’ll take a rain check though.

A: Ok.


A: Do you want to go bowling with me and my friends on Friday night?

B: That sounds fun, but I have to work Friday night. How about a rain check?

A: Ok.


A: How about coming over to my house for dinner tonight?

B: That would be wonderful, but I’m going to a movie with my friend. Can I have a rain check?

A: Sure, no problem.


A: Why don’t you join my friends and me for karaoke tomorrow night?

B: I love karaoke, but I’ve already made plans. Rain check?

A: Sure.

I believe this expression comes from baseball. Many years ago, no baseball stadiums were covered and so when it rained, the game had to be cancelled. Instead of giving people their money back for their tickets, they would give them another ticket called a “rain check” which meant they could come back at another time in the future to watch another baseball game. Now the meaning has been expanded to cover any activities we can’t do now but want to do in the future.


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