Catch some rays

Catch some rays is an idiom that is decades old. An idiom is a commonly used word, group of words, or phrase that has a figurative meaning that is not easily deduced from its literal definition. Often using descriptive imagery or metaphors, common idioms are words and phrases used in the English language in order to convey a concise idea, and are often spoken or are considered informal or conversational. English idioms can illustrate emotion more quickly than a phrase that has a literal meaning, even when the etymology or origin of the idiomatic expression is lost. An idiom is a metaphorical figure of speech, and it is understood that it is not a use of literal language. Figures of speech like an often-used metaphor have definitions and connotations that go beyond the literal meaning of the words. Mastery of the turn of phrase of an idiom, which may use slang words or other parts of speech common in American slang or British slang, is essential for the English learner. Many English as a Second Language students do not understand idiomatic expressions and idiomatic language such as hit the sack, spill the beans, let the cat out of the bag, silver lining, back to the drawing board, barking up the wrong tree, kick the bucket, hit the nail on the head, face the music, under the weather, piece of cake, when pigs fly, and raining cats and dogs, because they attempt to translate them word for word, which yields only the literal meaning. English phrases that are idioms should not be taken literally. In addition to learning vocabulary and grammar, one must understand the phrasing of the figurative language of idiomatic phrases in order to know English like a native speaker; it is helpful to maintain a list of phrases, common expressions, colloquial terms, and popular expressions to memorize that are used figuratively or idiomatically. We will examine the meaning of the common idiom catch some rays, where it came from, and some examples of its idiomatic usage in sentences.

Catch some rays means to sunbathe, to tan in the sun, to lie in the sun with the intention of obtaining a tan. The idiom catch some rays came into use in the latter half of the 1900s; the popularity of the phrase has soared since the 1970s. Catch some rays is an American expression that most probably originated in surfer culture in California. Related phrases are catches some rays, caught some rays, catching some rays.


Jerry is a chill boy with everyone and loves to lay in the sun and catch some rays. (Fairfax Times)

Fortunately, it’s not too late to chase the sun in southern Europe and catch some rays on a sandy beach in the Algarve or the Canaries, with travel companies offering affordable family trips to short-haul destinations all over. (The Sun)

And with sunny spring days officially upon us, there is no better time to catch some rays and relish SoCal’s renowned, sunny-and-75 climate. (Locale Magazine)

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