Nightclub, from MW:

A place of entertainment open at night usually serving food and liquor and providing music and space for dancing and often having a floor show.

I am curious if there is any part of the English speaking world where a casual sentence, like: I am heading to a nightclub now. is/should be understood, as I am heading to a shady place to spend a ton of money on ridiculously overpriced alcohol, strip girls, and/or hookers.

Is the difference between nightclub and strip club/gentlemen's club chrsytal clear at all times?

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    I doubt that anyone can speak for every part of the English speaking world. Sure there might be some place where it is misunderstood. Generally it isn't. – Helmar Aug 29 '16 at 13:27
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    "Nightclub" carries many different connotations. It's often used as a euphemism for a less than "upright" business, though it can also legitimately be used to refer to more respectable businesses. – Hot Licks Aug 29 '16 at 16:59
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    Not every audience deems the same things negative. One might have no problem at all with a club full of drunk libertines dancing through the night, yet despise a club full of drunk elitists exchanging golf tips in an oak-paneled room. – choster Aug 29 '16 at 17:28
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    Yikes, golf tips – Aoki Aug 29 '16 at 19:01
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    There are often strict prohibitions regarding advertising and signage for sexually oriented businesses (SOBs), so blame the confusion on prudish town councils. Many towns won't even allow the word "bar" or "club" to be used. And a fair percentage of Americans would need a full tank of gas or more to find a nightclub that wasn't a dive or SOB. Clubbing in Minot, anyone? – Phil Sweet Aug 30 '16 at 5:10

No one can give an exhaustive answer, as you are requesting. However, I can say that in the U.S. I have never seen nightclub have this connotation. I have been to nightclubs on the East Coast, West Coast, and points in between.

  • Is there any way to make this answer authoritative? I am thinking of looking up the frequencies of "nightclub" and "hookers", "lap dance" or whatever in the same context; and this should be compared to "gentleman's bar" and "hookers", "lap dance" or whatever. How would one do research of this kind? Let's say, it's your topic of your MA thesis. – Matsmath Sep 5 '16 at 20:45
  • Oh, well if it's your thesis, then you get to collect data at nightclubs. I hope you like to dance! – aparente001 Sep 5 '16 at 20:46
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    There is a difference between nightclub and "nightclub", if you catch my drift. – Richard Kayser Oct 5 '16 at 4:48

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