Topic: Ain't


Summary

The word ain't is a contraction, in some dialects of English, that is short for: am not. But can also sometimes be used to mean: is not (isn't). Or: are not (aren't). Or: have not (haven't).

When I lived in Texas, I heard the word "ain't" used frequently. (And even used it myself, sometimes, while I was living there.)

Discouragement

I remember teachers in High School, while I was living in Texas, insisting that "ain't" was not a word. And trying to persuade people not to use it.

If I had to guess why they would discourage the usage of the word ain't.... Some people consider the use of words like ain't to represent a degeneration of the English Language. This kind of "degeneration" and even other types of "degeneration" (like loss of Inflection) (seen in any language, and not just English) was sometimes (wrongly) used to suggest that a language was the result of a Creolization or a Language Replacement scenario. (Despite it not being true.)

And claims of Creolization or Language Replacement of a population, even if false (like in this case), often had "bad" political and social ramifications for future generations.

Examples

Here is the word ain't used in various common ways.

Ain't as "Am Not"

For example, you could say....

I ain't going to do that.

That could be equivalently said....

I am not going to do that.
Ain't as "Are Not"

For example, you could say....

They ain't here.

That could be equivalently said....

They are not here.
Ain't as "Have Not"

Or you could say....

I ain't got it.

Which could be equivalently said as....

I have not got it.
Ain't as "Is Not"

Or you could say....

That ain't it.

Which could be equivalently said as....

That is not it.
-- Mirza Charles Iliya Krempeaux
       

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