We ain’t got no room for boring.
For boring, we ain’t got no room.

Lovely little ditty.  I woke up with that music in my brain this morning.

AintWhen I was a teenager, we used to say it differently – “Ain’t ain’t a word.  Ya ain’t supposed to say ain’t.”  (Funny thing – as I was writing that last sentence, spell check let the word “ain’t” slide by.)

As Wikipedia says, “Ain’t is a contraction for “am not”, “is not”, “are not”, “has not”, and “have not” in the common English language vernacular. In some dialects ain’t is also used as a contraction of “do not”, “does not”, and “did not”. The usage of ain’t is a perennial subject of controversy in English. Widely used by many people, and found in most dictionaries, its use is often considered by prescriptionists to be informal, nonstandard, or improper.”

So there you have it – I am old enough to remember the struggle over the combination of letters expressed as “ain’t.”

With the Muppets singing in my brain, I got to wondering just where that word came from.  I remember the western shows on 50s and 60s television using the word, and at the time I wondered, “I don’t think that word was around in 1860.  The writers of these shows are using a modern word in a period TV show.”

Maybe not.

Wiki goes on to say, “An’t with a long “a” sound began to be written as ain’t, which first appears in writing in 1749.

Oh, sigh.



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