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What does catch the sun mean?

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I guess you’re not thinking of “Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight”, right? :-P –  PLL Jan 11 '11 at 10:19
    
I've also heard catch some rays to mean the same thing as sunbathing. –  xiaohouzi79 Feb 10 '11 at 21:55

4 Answers 4

up vote 12 down vote accepted

It generally means that you're looking a little sunburnt.

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Is the past tense used, in this case? –  kiamlaluno Aug 31 '10 at 12:11
    
Yes, normally something like, "Ooooh, it looks like you've caught the sun!". As someone who burns easily, I've had this said to me on a few occasions. :-S –  Steve Melnikoff Aug 31 '10 at 12:23

A corner of a garden, or a balconey can 'catch the sun' if it's correctly positioned and not overshadowed.

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I have heard Americans use this phrase. It generally means sunbathe ("I'm gonna catch some sun this weekend").

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The Corpus of Contemporary American English reports the phrase catch the sun. –  kiamlaluno Aug 30 '10 at 11:40
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The Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English entry reports "catch the sun" as British English and "get some sun" as American English. ldoceonline.com/dictionary/sun_1 if someone catches or gets the sun, they become slightly red or brown because they have been outside in the sun –  Manjima Aug 30 '10 at 18:37
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You're right, you're all right. I answered the question I heard in my head, not the question he actually wrote. –  J.T. Grimes Aug 30 '10 at 19:46
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I've never heard it to mean sunbathe. If you've caught some sun you're a bit sunburnt, probably unintentionally. –  TRiG Oct 15 '10 at 16:32
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@TRiG -- that's sarcasm, like telling someone with a hangover "You look like you had a good time." "Catch some sun" and "catch some rays" mean sunbathe just as "catch some sleep" (or "zzzs" or "shuteye") means take a nap. –  Malvolio Feb 23 '11 at 4:26

If you live in the the Northwest, you may leave work a little early during the winter in order to "catch the sun."

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