To take a rain check is a polite way to decline an offer but suggest that there will be an alternate get-together at a later time. I’ll take a rain check, can I get a rain check?, give me a rain check are all phrases one might use to infer that it is only circumstance that is keeping one from spending time with a person, not a dislike of that person. The term rain check appears in the United States in the 1890s to describe a ticket issued to patrons attending a baseball game that is postponed due to rain. When the make-up game was played, rain check holders could attend without further payment. Today, when stores run out of advertised items they often issue rainchecks guaranteeing the shopper may return when the item is restocked and buy it for the sale price. You will often find rainchecks issued for rained out sporting events and missing advertised sale items spelled as one word. Raincheck and to take a rain check are American terms that have spread world-wide.
For weeks now, Liam McGhee and his older sister have been making weekend plans only to have him back out and take a rain check. (The Poughkeepsie Journal)
On a night where myself or their dad cannot read a story — we take a rain check and read two stories the next night (more negotiating). (The Huffington Post)
“I remember wanting to go to Jacob Kramer Art School in Leeds to do a vocational course in fashion, as a school friend had gained a place there after O-Levels, but a career in fashion was not the route for a boy to take in the ’60’s and I was encouraged to take a rain check on that, which is what I dutifully did.” (The Yorkshire Evening Post)
If certain rides — Twister II, Mind Eraser, Boomerang, Sidewinder and the Water Park — are closed for longer than 90 minutes, guests can get a rain check, allowing them to return on another day during the season. (The Denver Post)