If someone has you ‘over a barrel,’ it’s never a good sign. This phrase means you’re in an extremely vulnerable position, and another human being (most likely not a friend) is taking advantage of that vulnerability.
When you say, “I’ll take a raincheck,” you’re telling someone that you can’t accept his or her offer or invitation now, but you’d be happy to accept it down the road. The phrase can also be used sarcastically, by letting someone know you’d prefer to delay something unpleasant until the future, or as a promise for out-of-stock goods.
But how did this expression make it into our lexicon?
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