29 September 2008

Origin: Raincheck

Here's my arbitrary word of the day.

Where did the word raincheck come from?

How was it first used?

In my search, I came across RandomHouse which has a lot of interesting links (a bit of side info for the bookish types).

According to them, this phrase dates back to the 1880's.


The literal sense of rain check, which is an Americanism, is first found in the 1880s in reference to a baseball game. The practice of giving a rain check to a ticketholder was formalized in 1890 in the constitution of the National League.

So, when it first started out, the ticket was a sort of voucher that assured future game for those who missed game due to rain or other game interrupting circumstances.