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noun Slang.
  1. a person, especially a woman, who is a busybody or gossip.
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Origin of yenta

1930–35; < Yiddish yente, originally a female personal name, earlier YentlOld Italian; compare Italian gentile kind, amiable, orig., noble, highborn; see gentle
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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Word Origin and History for yenta


"gossip, busybody," 1923, from Yente Telebende, comic strip gossip in 1920s-30s writing of Yiddish newspaper humorist B. Kovner (pen-name of Jacob Adler) in the "Jewish Daily Forward." It was a common Yiddish fem. proper name, altered from Yentl and said to be ultimately from Italian gentile "kind, gentle," earlier "noble, high-born" (see gentle).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper