If someone accuses you of being stupid and you want to protest the accusation, this is an example of when you might say "I ain't stupid."
- Informal am not
- : a dialectal or nonstandard usage: you ain't seen nothing yet!
- is not or are not
- has not or have not
Origin of ain'tearly assimilation, with lengthened and raised vowel, of amn't, contr. of am not; later confused with a'nt (are not), i'nt (is not), ha'nt (has not, have not)
- Contraction of am not.
- Used also as a contraction for are not, is not, has not, and have not.
Usage Note: Ain't has a long history of controversy. It first appeared in 1778, evolving from an earlier an't, which arose almost a century earlier as a contraction of are not and am not. In fact, ain't arose at the tail end of an era that saw the introduction of a number of our most common contractions, including don't and won't. But while don't and won't eventually became accepted at all levels of speech and writing, ain't was to receive a barrage of criticism in the 19th century for having no set sequence of words from which it can be contracted and for being a “vulgarism,” that is, a term used by the lower classes, although an't had been originally used by the upper classes as well. At the same time ain't 's uses were multiplying to include has not, have not, and is not, by influence of forms like ha'n't and i'n't. It may be that these extended uses helped fuel the negative reaction. Whatever the case, criticism of ain't by usage commentators and teachers has not subsided, and the use of ain't is often regarded as a sign of ignorance. • But despite all the attempts to ban it, ain't continues to enjoy extensive use in speech. Even educated and upper-class speakers see no substitute in folksy expressions such as Say it ain't so and You ain't seen nothin' yet. • The stigmatization of ain't leaves us with no happy alternative for use in first-person questions. The widely used aren't I?, though irregular, was found acceptable for use in speech by a majority of the Usage Panel as long ago as 1964, but in writing there is no acceptable substitute for the stilted am I not?
- From the earlier form an't, a contraction of am not, are not, and is not. The shift from IPA: /ænt/ to IPA: /eɪnt/ parallels a similar change in some dialects with can't. In other dialects the pronunciation shifted to IPA: /ɑːnt/, and the spelling aren't, when used to mean “am not”, is due to the fact that both words are pronounced IPA: /ɑːnt/ in some non-rhotic dialects. Historically, ain't was present in many dialects of the English language, but not in the southeastern England dialect that became the standard, where it is only found in the construction aren't I?.
- From the earlier form han't, a contraction of has not and have not. Han't shifted from IPA: /hænt/ to IPA: /heɪnt/, and underwent h-dropping in most dialects.