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All examples I've seen on the internet refer with this phrase to money. But isn't it possible to club together with, for instance, our group effort/our knowledge and experience/our part of work?

  • It sounds like it's splitting the cost between a group of people to receive a benefit for the group as a whole or a third party, as opposed to just splitting the cost of a dinner, e.g. "going Dutch". – Peter Dec 12 '16 at 8:31
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    I think this question could be greatly improved if you include at least a couple of those examples you’ve seen on the internet, along with some links showing where you found them. – J.R. Dec 12 '16 at 10:01
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    My first thought for "club together" isn't money. I would just use it as an (informal) synonym for "work as a group" – James Webster Dec 12 '16 at 10:33
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    "Pitch in" is a good alternative that can be used when sharing the effort of something. It means "join in to help with a task or activity" e.g. "The house needs cleaning but if we all pitch-in it'll be done in no time" – Mr_Thyroid Dec 12 '16 at 18:12
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    I've only heard this type of phrasing in Indian (subcontinent) English or by those who work with Indian people. I've come to understand it to mean roughly the same things a 'group'. Other phrasings include: "let's club it" which tends to shock North Americans who are familiar with this term referring to the violent act. British or American references are not likely to explain this. – JimmyJames Dec 12 '16 at 18:28
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http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/club-together http://www.macmillandictionary.com/dictionary/british/club-together

'Club together' specifically refers to splitting the cost of something between a group of people - it is not used for other divisions of resources or labour.

A term with the broader definition that you are looking for would be 'pool our resources', which can be applied to more than just money.

'put our heads together' would be more suited to knowledge or ideas - a group of people might put their heads together to solve a difficult problem, for example.

  • Thanks, you really helped me. Yeah,I didn't find the suggested meanings in the dictionaries as well but I hoped Popper's razor could do its work :) – Probably Dec 12 '16 at 8:45
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    I'm not convinced by those definitions. Cambridge doesn't say that the cost has to be financial and Macmillan doesn't even give a definition, just an example circumstance where the phrase could be used. And the OED contradicts; writing an answer now. – David Richerby Dec 12 '16 at 13:55
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According to the Oxford English Dictionary (subscription required), club together means

To combine in making up a sum (as the cost or expense of an entertainment, etc.) by a number of individual contributions; to go shares in the cost of anything.

To contribute (as one's share) towards a common stock.

I don't think either of those necessarily requires the cost to be in money. For example, one of the quotations is,

T. Smollett Roderick Random I. xxiii. 212, “This scheme, towards the execution of which my companion clubbed her wardrobe.”

That's not specifically "club together", but I don't see any reason why we couldn't, for example, club together to provide a donation of clothes to charity from our wardrobes.

Indeed, "club" itself has plenty of meanings, such as

To combine together (or with others) in joint action; to combine as partners or as members of a club.

So, again, it seems reasonable to "club together" in the joint action of using our collective knowledge to solve some problem.

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