Expression: Join the club / Welcome to the club

In this Expression episode of Aussie English I teach you guys how and when to use the expressions “Join the club” and “Welcome to the club”.

Expression: Join the club/Welcome to the club

G’day guys. Welcome to this episode of Aussie English. Today is going to be an expression episode, and the expression for today is “Join the club” or “Welcome to the club”. So, “Join the club” or “Welcome to the club”.

So, I might define these two expressions. They can be used interchangeably. So, you can use one exactly where you can use the other one. You just have to pick which ever one you like or you can use them both at different times. So, this is the kind of thing that someone will say to you when you’ve had an experience or some kind of problem when something’s happened to you. Someone will say this to you in order to show that they have also experienced this same problem or had this same experience. So, an easier way of thinking about it is that you could substitute it for “Me too”. So, if someone said something to you like “I’m really tired today” you could say “Me too!” but you can also say “Join the club!” or “Welcome to the club!”. And in both these cases a good way of thinking about it is like “Join the club of people who are also tired”. So, you’ve said you’re tired, I’m tired, I’m in a club full of tired people, not really but as a joke, “Join the club!” or “Welcome to the club”. It’s exactly the same thing.

So, I’ll run you through some examples as I usually do of when and how to use this expression, or these expressions.

Say you’re having a party with a few friends at your place one night, so at your house. You’ve supplied all of the booze, so all of the alcohol, all of the drinks, and your friends agreed to bring the munchies, and the “munchies” is a slang term for food, so the stuff to munch on, literally to chew on or to eat, the stuff to eat. So, they’re bringing the munchies, the food. And so, your friends bring over some Tim Tams, and Tim Tams are an Australian delicacy. You should do a Google search on it, Tim Tam, it’s a kind of chocolate biscuit which are amazing. [I] Absolutely love these things. People get them sent overseas all the time when they go home if they’re visiting Australia because they love them. Anyway, I’m getting sidetracked. So, your friends have brought over the Tim Tams, and there’s two of you who’ve been eating Tim Tams all night long. You’ve been stuffing your face with chocolate Tim Tams all night long. So, to literally be putting these in your mouth, stuffing your face constantly. Someone could turn to you and say, “I can’t stop eating these chocolate Tim Tams!” and you could say to them if you were also experiencing that problem of not being able to stop eating Tim Tams, “Yeah, join the club!”. So, Join the club of people who can’t stop eating Tim Tams.

A second example could be say you got fired from your job, um… maybe you made a tiny mistake, whatever reason you ended up fired from your job and you’ve called your best friend because you’re pretty upset about the fact that you got fired and you want to tell your friend about it and talk to them. And as it turns out, they have also been fired that exact same day except for a different reason, or maybe even the same reason. Maybe they turned up late to work or something, or made an error at work. And when you tell them, over the phone, “Hey, I got fired!” they could say, “What?! You got fired as well?! Join the club!”. And in this case, “You got fired as well?! Join the club!” it means like, join the club of people who also got fired. So, it’s a long way of saying “Me too. I also got fired. Join the club of people who got fired that I am already in.” So, “I’ve also had that experience, had that problem today”.

Example number three. Say you’re outside gardening in the front yard and you see your neighbour, and you start chatting with them, or him, her, it’s almost the Christmas holidays and he asks you if you’re going on a holiday this year with your family, and you tell him, “Unfortunately, we can’t afford a vacation this year”. He could say to you, “Ah… welcome to the club.” And that just means that he’s in the same position as you. He doesn’t have enough money to take his family on a holiday. So, “Welcome to the club of people who can’t afford a vacation this year”, “Welcome to the club”.

A last example could be you’re out camping and you’ve accidentally placed your tent on low ground. So, somewhere in the middle of a dip between two hills, in a valley somewhere where the water’s going to run. And the night before, or that night, it’s rained heavily. And so, your tent has subsequently become flooded with water as has everyone else’s tents who were also camped in that area. And in the morning you’re out hanging your tent and every other bit of gear you’ve got for camping up, you’re hanging it all out so that it can dry, so that you can use it the next night. And someone next to you is doing the same thing, and you could turn to them and literally just look at them and say, “Welcome to the club mate!” because you’re both doing the exact same thing. You’ve experienced the same problem. You’re putting all of your wet tent and camping gear out. So, “Welcome to the club of people whose tents were flooded last night. Welcome to the club, mate!”.

So, as usual guys I’ll do a little quick listen and repeat exercise. So, listen and repeat after me, guys.

Listen and repeat:

Join the club, mate.

Join the club, mate.

Join the club, mate.

Join the club, mate.

Join the club, mate.

Mate, welcome to the club!

Mate, welcome to the club!

Mate, welcome to the club!

Mate, welcome to the club!

Mate, welcome to the club! 

And so, I might just add there too that saying “Mate” before or after those kinds of small phrases, any of these kinds of phrases, is just a way for Australians to be a little more friendlier [friendly*], particularly with people they’re close friends with already or complete strangers as well. It just makes you feel a little more amicable, friendly, nice, easy to talk to. So, that’s why friendly people in Australia will often say “Mate” at the end or at the start of sentences. I hope you’ve liked this episode, and yeah, keep practicing your English guys, and I’ll see you soon. All the best.