How many times have you “taken a rain check” when you were asked out? Probably more times than you could count. The real question is “What actually is a rain check?”
“Taking a rain check” is an idiom that means that you want to postpone something. When you take a rain check, you’re actually rescheduling. Here’s the explanation why.
The term “take a rain check” has been in use as early as the 1870s. When baseball games were postponed because of the rain, baseball teams would reissue the audience tickets. These tickets became known as “rain checks.” Eventually, rain checks became a popular thing for other outdoor games or events that have to be rescheduled because of bad weather.
Today many people take a rain check to politely decline an invite. That’s not the case at all. When you take a rain check, you aren’t declining. It is always polite to follow up taking a rain check with a date or place. Here’s the proper way of using the idiom.
A: Hey, do you want to go out to brunch on Saturday?
B: Oh, I have to take a rain check. Does Sunday work for you?
So whether you’re avoiding a lousy date or dreading an outing, friendly reminder not to use the idiom. Otherwise, you’ll leave that person hanging until who knows when.
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