Join the club

Join the club is an idiom that came into use in the mid-twentieth century. An idiom is a 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, is essential for the English learner. Many English as a Second Language students do not understand idiomatic expressions and idiomatic language such as in a blue moon, 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, and popular expressions to memorize that are used figuratively or idiomatically. We will examine the meaning of the idiom join the club, where it came from, and some examples of its idiomatic usage in sentences.

Join the club is a retort that means one feels the same way as the previous speaker or that one is in a similar situation as the previous speaker. For instance, someone may state that he is short of money, and if his friend is also short of money, the friend may state, “Join the club.” The expression join the club to mean that two or more people are sharing the same experience came into use sometime in the mid-1940s, though its exact origin is unknown. A variation of the phrase join the club is welcome to the club.


If getting away from it all and living in nearly complete isolation is your current fantasy, well…join the club. (Boston Magazine)

And if you don’t know everything about everything, well, join the club. (The Atlantic)

If you’re already dropping threads of this plot, well, join the club – the bold and disparate strands of this series (Nazis! Footloose-style dance sequence! Jewish gangsters!) are individually compelling, but the show strains under the weight of its own webbing. (The Guardian)

“WELCOME to the club” my friend said facetiously when I finally opened up about the issues I had been experiencing with my mental health. (The Glasgow Times)

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