Taylor Swift Ain't Afraid To Say Ain't

It Ain't A Coincidence That Taylor Swift Keeps Using This Word

Ain't may not be a real word, but that hasn't stopped Taylor Swift


The word ain't isn't officially recognized in the dictionary. That doesn't make it uncommon, though. It is used often as a slang term that can mean "isn't it?" "it is," "is not," "am not," "are not," "have not," or "has not." That's a lot of meanings for one word, which no doubt contributes to its popularity and continued use. Similar to the word ya'll (you all), ain't is common in the southern United States.

This isn't any old vocab lesson, though. This is about Taylor Swift. Even though she hails from Pennsylvania, she picked up ain't somewhere along the way and has used it in her songs. She has continued to use the word since her transition from country to pop music.

Lyricists have this thing called poetic license. It means the freedom to depart from the conventional rules of language when writing in order to create an effect. They can get away with improper grammar, fake words, and nonsense all in order to make the song rhyme or flow better.

Whatever her reasons, Taylor Swift has used ain't in 15 of her songs, including her most recent one.

1. Cold As You


This song is Track 5 on her debut album. Ain't is actually part of the chorus, so it's repeated a few times.

LYRICS: Just walk away. Ain't no use defending words that you will never say.

Here, ain't is used in place of there isn't.

It's worth noting that Swift uses a double negative, so the negatives cancel each other out to form a positive. Technically, she's saying "There is use defending." Since I'm sure that's not what she meant, we'll chalk this up to poetic license or inexperience.

Also, ain't no has the same amount of syllables as there's no, so it's unclear why Swift didn't use correct grammar if it still would've flowed well.

Listen to the song here.

2. The Outside


This is the song after Cold As You.

LYRICS: I can still see you. This ain't the best view.

In this case, ain't is used to mean isn't. Technically, this is grammatically correct. But ain't still isn't a word.

Ain't is fewer syllables than isn't, so Swift may have chosen it for flow.

Listen to the song here.

3. Fifteen


We've now moved on to the Fearless album, which is arguably one of the greatest of all time. Fifteen also happens to be the number of times Taylor Swift has used ain't so far in her songs. Just saying.

LYRICS: Say hi to your friends you ain't seen in a while.

Ain't is versatile, but this usage is one of its less popular meanings. It takes the place of haven't. I think the song would sound better with haven't. It has more syllables, so Swift may have opted for ain't to keep it short.

Watch the music video here.

4. White Horse


This is one of my all-time favorite Taylor Swift songs, so I'm surprised I had forgotten that it uses ain't twice in the chorus. I guess it just fits in and flows well. The song is so great, my mind skips right over the use of a fake word.

LYRICS: I'm not a princess. This ain't a fairytale. I'm not the one you'll sweep off her feet, lead her up the stairwell. This ain't Hollywood.

Ain't in both cases replaces isn't. As I said, I have no problem with the use of ain't in this song. I feel like it's more abrupt and gets the point across better. Plus, it makes it less formal and fits better with the theme of a fairytale gone wrong.

Watch the music video here.

5. Breathe


This is also from Fearless. Taylor Swift co-wrote and sang this song with Colbie Caillat.

LYRICS: It's 2 am, feeling like I just lost a friend. Hope you know it's not easy, easy for me. It's 2 am, feeling like I just lost a friend. Hope you know this ain't easy, easy for me.

This is the bridge, where the same phrase is sung twice. The first time, Swift says "it's not easy." The second time, she says "this ain't easy." Also, she goes from pronouncing it "ee-see" to "ee-say." The second phrase is meant to be more casual and raw, which explains why she uses ain't and pronounces easy differently.

Listen to the song here.

6. Change


Yet another song from Fearless that uses ain't. Could it be because this is one of her more country albums?

LYRICS: It's hard to fight when the fight ain't fair.

In this song, ain't means isn't. Swift probably chose to use ain't because it's more concise. Plus, ain't fair flows well.

Watch the music video here.

7. SuperStar


This is from the platinum version of Fearless. It's one of the bonus songs. It's about a celebrity crush, which seems odd coming from a famous person. But you have to remember that Taylor Swift wasn't as big then as she is now.

LYRICS: This is wrong, but I can't help but feel like there ain't nothing more right.

Yet another example of ain't as isn't. Also, ain't nothing is a double negative. It's like saying isn't nothing, which cancels out and becomes is something. Swift isn't saying there's something more right than her feelings. She's saying there's nothing more right. In which case, she should replace there ain't nothing with there's nothing. I'm really not sure why she chose to use ain't here.

Listen to the song here.

8. Back to December


This is the first and only use of ain't on her Speak Now album. I find that somewhat surprising that the only use is on this song. I would've expected to find it in a more country song like Mean. Nevertheless, here it is.

LYRICS: Turns out freedom ain't nothing but missing you.

Once again, ain't means isn't. By this point, you can probably guess that I'm going to point out the double negative and how it reverses the meaning of the statement. However, I don't see it as much of a problem in this case. It might help to actually hear this line to understand why it works so well. First of all, it's a powerful statement. She thought breaking up with this guy would mean freedom, but freedom actually means missing him. Second of all, the structure of this line depends on the use of ain't. It just wouldn't work with any other word. So, we'll leave it be.

Watch the music video here.

9. Blank Space


Ain't is actually never used on the Red album. This is the only time it's used on 1989.

LYRICS: Ain't it funny? Rumors fly.

Here, ain't means isn't. In full context, Ain't it funny? seems like it doesn't even need to be there. Its only purpose is sarcasm. Swift is saying it's not funny that rumors are flying, but she's so used to it that she's poking fun at it.

Watch the music video here.

10. End Game


This is one of four songs on Reputation that uses ain't. For some reason, Taylor Swift didn't use it on Red and only used it once on 1989. Now, she's back in full force with it on Reputation. I guess that ruins the theory that she used it so much on Fearless because it was a country album. Reputation is far from country and far from the pop she experimented with on 1989. Whatever you want to call it, it seems to be a good fit for ain't.

LYRICS: I know what they all say, but I ain't trying to play.

In this case, ain't takes the place of am not. I'm not sure why she chose to use ain't when I'm not has the same amount of syllables and the same meaning. Admittedly, I'm not very familiar with this song because I don't listen to some of the songs from Reputation. Maybe ain't fits well with the song, and I just wouldn't know.

Watch the music video here.

11. Don't Blame Me


This song compares love to drug use, which is why I don't like it. However, it does contain ain't, so it makes the list.

LYRICS: Love made me crazy. If it doesn't, you ain't doing it right.

Ain't is used in place of aren't. This is the first time Taylor has used it that way. Ain't and aren't have the same number of syllables, so she could've used either one and it would've flowed well. With the tone of this song, though, I think ain't fits better.

Listen to the song here.

12. Delicate


In this song, ain't is part of the chorus, so it's sung a few times.

LYRICS: This ain't for the best.

Ain't is used in place of isn't. I can actually understand why she used ain't. This isn't doesn't flow well with the way this line is sung. This ends with is and isn't begins with is, so it has a weird effect.

Watch the music video here.

13. Getaway Car


This song is another case where ain't can be replaced with a contraction.

LYRICS: The circus ain't a love story.

Ain't replaces isn't. Taylor most likely chose ain't because it has fewer syllables and fits better in this line. If you go and listen to this line in the song, you'll probably agree that she'd have to restructure it to make isn't fit.

Listen to the song here.

14. This Is Why We Can't Have Nice Things


In this song, ain't is part of the bridge, where she thanks the people who have stuck by her side no matter what.

LYRICS: Here's to my baby. He ain't reading what they call me lately.

This is another case of ain't being used in place of isn't. I think either word works here, even though ain't has fewer syllables. Ain't fits better with the flow of the bridge as a whole, though.

Listen to the song here. (This is from her concert movie on Netflix. It's out of sync and gets cut off, but it's the best I could find.)

15. ME!


Last but not least, Taylor Swift's latest song shows that she's not done using ain't. To be fair, she co-wrote this song with Brendon Urie from Panic! At The Disco. I'm pretty sure he actually wrote the line that contains ain't. He's the one who sings it.

LYRICS: There ain't no I in team.

This is another double negative, which ends up meaning there is an I in team. There's not. So, why not just say There is no I in team? Hard telling. Maybe Urie is aware of Taylor's penchant for ain't, or maybe she insisted that he use it. I just think it's ironic that the bridge starts with Spelling is fun, but proceeds to use improper grammar.

Watch the music video here.

Eight of the fifteen songs are singles, which means they're the ones played on the radio that have their own music video. They're more likely to reach people who aren't die-hard fans. Taylor Swift chooses to represent herself to potential fans as a woman who's not afraid to say ain't.

Popular Right Now

14 Stages Of Buying Jonas Brothers Concert Tickets As A 20-Something In 2019

"Alexa, play "Burnin' Up" by the Jonas Brothers."


In case you missed it, the Jonas Brothers are back together and, let me tell you, they're giving us some major jams. For those of us who were there when it all began back in 2007 with their first album, It's About Time, this has been one of the most important events of the year. But nothing, and I mean nothing can rival the excitement every twenty-something felt as the Jonas Brothers announced their Happiness Begins tour. I, for one, put my name in for ticket presale, have been following every single social media site related to the tour/group, and, of course, listening to the Jonas Brothers on repeat. And if you did manage to snag tickets, then you know that this is how your brain has been ever since they announced the tour.

1. Finding out that they're going on tour

2. Hopefully entering your name into the lottery to get presale tickets

3. Finding out that you actually get to buy presale tickets

4. Impatiently waiting for your presale tickets by listening to their songs on repeat

5. And remembering how obsessed you used to be (definitely still are) with them

6. Trying to coordinate the squad to go to the concert with you

7. Waiting in the Ticketmaster waiting room...

8. ...And feeling super frantic/frustrated because there are about 2000 people in line in front of you

9. Actually getting into the site to buy the tickets

10. Frantically trying to find seats you can actually pay for because, let's be real, you're twenty-something and poor

11. Managing to actually get the seats you want

12. Joyfully letting your squad know that you've done it

13. Crying a little because all of the dreams you've had since 2007 are coming true

14. Listening to every single Jonas Brothers song on repeat (again)

If you, like me, have finally fulfilled one of your dreams since childhood, then congrats, my friend! We've made it! Honestly, of all the things I've done in my adult life, this might be the one that child me is the most proud of.

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

The 7 Best Food Places Near UCLA You Need to Try ASAP

We have great dining food AND restaurants around us? Wow, we are #blessed.


Westwood is the home to UCLA and offers plenty of interesting and diverse dining options for students and locals alike. Since the area is firmly Bruin territory, you will find lots of on-the-go, affordable eats along with a mix of more modern and upscale restaurants.

Though I definitely haven't had all the food Westwood occurs, being here two years now (omg already!?), I think I can safely recommend certain places to eat.

1. Shamshiri Grill


South Westwood Boulevard is often referred to as Little Tehran, so most of that area is just Persian restaurants. Shamshiri Grill just makes the best meat and whenever I go there, I always order my meal with their special hot sauce, that is to DIE for. A must try.

2. Gushi

I can not tell you how many times I've been to this place. Located near Fat Sal's, you may be tempted to just miss it but let me tell you that is a mistake. I always get their Gushi Bowl which is just heavenly and the right amount to make me feel satisfied without being too filling. Be generous with the Teriyaki and Sriracha sauces on your meat and you are guaranteed to have a good time.

3. Pinches Tacos


I know Mexican food is very common wherever you go but Pinches Tacos is aesthetically pleasing and their food? Even more so. It just tastes so good! I definitely recommend the Asada fries and any tacos.

4. Saffron and Rose

Saffron and Rose is a Persian ice cream parlor like 10 minutes away from Shamshiri Grill and the quality and variety of ice cream is truly impressive. I would not have known my weakness for Jasmine ice cream if I hadn't tried this place and as always, the Saffron and Rose (it's namesake) deserves to be the name of the restaurant because of how rich in flavor it is.

5. Maharaja


I am very particular about my Indian food but the buffets in the afternoons at Maharaja definitely passes my checklist. I actually went there for my birthday so that just tells you how the food doesn't disappoint.

6. Nekter Juice Bar

I found out about this place very recently and I'm so glad I did because their bowls are so good. They also serve smoothies which I haven't had the pleasure to taste yet but I expect the same kind of quality. I am very partial to the Bruin Bowl and the Dragonfruit Bowl.

7. BJs


They have $3 Pizookies on Tuesday.

I am always there on Tuesday.

Are these two facts connected? Maybe.

What can I say? I just love the restaurants here.

Related Content

Facebook Comments