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    Senior Member Ezequiel's Avatar
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    Default ain't??

    Could you tell me what does "ain't" exactly mean and where did it come from? Is it some kind of a short way to say either "isn't" or "aren't"?

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    Hi Ezequiel! Ain't is a very colloquial word usually from the southern parts of the U.S. It is considered "improper English" but means "is/are not." Personally it is just as short as saying "isn't or aren't," but I think it is used more for effect than anything. Another similar word that is very characteristic of the south is "y'all" meaning "you all."

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    Senior Member Hebe's Avatar
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    Thatīs right Ezequiel. This is a very informal way to form "negative auxiliary verbsĒ

    Not only for the verb to be but also for auxiliaries like "do" or "have"

    For instance I ainīt got money (I havenít got any money)

    Where does it come from? I ainīt got a clue (jeje), but never use it fromal texts


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    Senior Member Ezequiel's Avatar
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    Thx a lot! I've had that doubt for years.
    Even my english teacher couldn't answer me when I asked her the meaning of "ain't" :P

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    Look what I found about the origin and early usage of aint...

    Ainít arose toward the end of an 18 century period that marked the development of most of the English contracted verb forms such as canít, donít, and wonít. The form first appears in print in 1778. It was preceded by anít, which had been common for about a century previously, and indeed is still commonly used in some parts of England.
    Anít appears first in print in the work of Restoration playwrights: it is seen first in 1695, when William Congreve wrote I can hear you farther off, I anít deaf, suggesting that the form was in the beginning a contraction of ďam notĒ. But as early as 1696 Sir John Vanbrugh uses the form for ďare notĒ: These shoes an't ugly, but they don't fit me...
    At least in some dialects, anít is likely to have been pronounced like ainít, and thus the appearance of ainít is more a clarified spelling than a new verb form. In some dialects of British English, are rhymed with air, and a 1791 American spelling reformer proposed spelling ďareĒ as er
    Ainít in these earliest uses seems to have served as a contraction for both am not and are not.
    Realmente, el destino del mundo depende, en primer lugar, de los estadistas y, en segundo lugar, de los intťrpretes.
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    That's interesting Sandra! Actually ain't is still used in that sense...for example "I ain't going to wash those dishes!" I had no idea that it had such a long history!

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    Quote Originally Posted by SandraT
    Look what I found about the origin and early usage of aint...

    Ainít arose toward the end of an 18 century period that marked the development of most of the English contracted verb forms such as canít, donít, and wonít. The form first appears in print in 1778. It was preceded by anít, which had been common for about a century previously, and indeed is still commonly used in some parts of England.
    Anít appears first in print in the work of Restoration playwrights: it is seen first in 1695, when William Congreve wrote I can hear you farther off, I anít deaf, suggesting that the form was in the beginning a contraction of ďam notĒ. But as early as 1696 Sir John Vanbrugh uses the form for ďare notĒ: These shoes an't ugly, but they don't fit me...
    At least in some dialects, anít is likely to have been pronounced like ainít, and thus the appearance of ainít is more a clarified spelling than a new verb form. In some dialects of British English, are rhymed with air, and a 1791 American spelling reformer proposed spelling ďareĒ as er
    Ainít in these earliest uses seems to have served as a contraction for both am not and are not.
    That is so interesting and so true! I had an English Professor use it once in one of my classes when we were talking about race. She said, "there ain't nothing wrong with using 'ain't'!"

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    Haha, thanks for the info, I never knew. however, I must say that hearing ain't still makes me cringe.....

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    In Atlanta people will tell you "ain't ain't a word."

    Ya'll is one of my favorites. Ya'll with a drawl is the only way you'll here it (properly?) used...

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    Default Re: ain't??

    There are several good online references that explain the root and meaning of the word ain't. Here are some:

    Ain't is a slang contraction originally used for "am not", but also used for "is not", "are not", "has not", or "have not" in the common vernacular. In some dialects it is also used as a contraction of "do not", "does not", and "did not" (i.e. I ain't know that). The word is a perennial issue in English usage. It is a word that is widely used by many people, but its use is commonly considered to be improper.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ain't

    1 : am not : are not : is not
    2 : have not : has not
    3 : do not : does not : did not óused in some varieties of Black English
    http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ain't

    1. Contraction of am not.
    2. Used also as a contraction for are not, is not, has not, and have not.
    http://www.thefreedictionary.com/ain't

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