Also used: Welcome to the club
Join the club is an idiom that is used in the imperative mood. Its figurative use appears to be somewhat modern.
Meaning of Join the Club
We say “join the club’ to someone when they tell us they are in a certain unfortunate situation that we are already in ourselves.
It is also used to tell someone we feel the same as they do after they tell us how they feel about something.
It means the same as ‘join the crowd’ even though there need not be enough other people in the situation to constitute a club or a crowd. It is used anytime something bad that has already happened to us happens to someone else.
Often, when this idiom is used, the suggestion is that a person’s problems are not unusual and thus do not deserve any sympathy. However, it is often entirely neutral and simply used as an acknowledgment of a common plight.
Examples Of Use
“I just got 60 dollar speeding ticket from one of those traffic cameras on Diggs Street,” said Curtis.” “Oh yeah?” said Travis. “Join the club!”
“I think I’m coming down with a cold,” said Jan. “Yeah? Join the club. There’s one going around,” replied Franz.
The origin of “join the club” seems to be an alternative version of join the crowd. Both expressions tend to be reserved for negative events or situations with the connotation of humor or sarcasm at the idea of anyone wanting to be a part of such a ‘club.’
Although it is hard to say exactly when join the club passed into figurative use, it seems to be somewhat modern.
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