[ yen-tuh ]
/ ˈyɛn tə /

noun Slang.

a person, especially a woman, who is a busybody or gossip.

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 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

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).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper