Is there a British equivalent of "taking a rain check"?

It would be very useful to have a phrase that I can say to British people which means "I need to cancel and I'd like to reschedule but I can't give a specific time right now."

Is there one?

Edit: This phrase is widely recognised in the UK but very rarely used. It is usually misunderstood as meaning "I'd like to reschedule (to a specific time)".


1 Answer 1


"Can I think about that?..." or "Can I get back to you [on that]?" are probably the closest GB to the American 'Raincheck' - which I think is widely understood here.

"Can I think about / get back to you on that...?" is a polite way of avoiding an embarrassing situation, hopefully without hurting anyone's feelings, when: "You must be joking!" is perhaps a little too direct.

  • 4
    But "take a raincheck" is often used quite literally, meaning "I'd like to do that at a later date".
    – Hot Licks
    Oct 28, 2019 at 1:36
  • 2
    @HotLicks You are quite right. I don't think there is an equivalent - at least I can't think of one. The term "raincheck" is not used in the UK - we have similar things, not quite the same, called "pass-outs" - but I've never heard "Can I take a pass-out on that?" (A "pass-out" is a ticket that allows you to leave something for which you have paid an admission, so you can get back in.)
    – WS2
    Oct 28, 2019 at 7:47
  • @WS2 - A "pass-out"?! Never heard of it in SE England. If I wanted to leave somewhere that I wanted to get back into, I'd ask for a "readmission stamp".
    – AndyT
    Oct 28, 2019 at 15:30
  • @AndyT Well, "pass-out" has both a relevant adjectival and noun sense in the OED. Adj Designating a ticket or other token giving permission for a visitor or patron to leave and later re-enter a theatre, club, etc. 2001 example - ...when the pass-out stamps was luminous. Noun A pass-out ticket.1986 Highland News 27 Sept. 52/4 Anyone who has paid to get into the ground will be able to use their admission ticket as a pass-out.
    – WS2
    Oct 28, 2019 at 15:45

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