• Morgan Fagg

What exactly is a Rain Check?

I was asked at the end of an English class if I could explain the meaning of a Rain Check and I responded that I could but that we would have to take a Rain Check as we didn't have enough time.

In reality, I knew I needed to look up some details but wanted to drop the expression into a usable sentence. Basically a Rain Check is a common English expression where something can't be done at that time but could be done at another time.


The expression is used a lot in American tv and films and is usually associated with a dinner date or drinks and we use the expression to ask if we can take a Rain Check usually because we do want to go out with the person but can't. This is not a NO, this is a NOT RIGHT NOW answer but we want to politely ask if the offer is still valid.

So where did the origin of this expression come from and how many native English speakers know what it means?


As this is an American expression people across the Atlantic might recognise it's meaning a lot better than Europeans.


Especially as the origin comes from Baseball games where people were issued a Rain Check if a game was postponed due to weather.


Later this expression was applied to sales where a Rain Check was issued to a good that was out of stock.


The Rain Check that was issued to them allowed the person to buy the good when it became available but at the same sale price, they wanted to pay for it.


Idioms Online a Youtube channel explained this very well when I went looking for the origin. Enjoy


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