Yenta or Yente (Yiddish: יענטאַ) is a Yiddish female name which is used generically for an old gossip. The female name is derived from Yentl, in turn derived from a word in Old Italian which means kind or amiable.
In the age of Yiddish theater, it started referring to a busybody or gossipmonger. The word has since become Yinglish (a Yiddish loanword in American Jewish English). In the 1920s Yenta was first popularized by the humorist Jacob Adler (not the actor Jacob P. Adler) writing under his pen name B. Kovner, in which he created the character Yenta, and featured Yenta in a Broadway play entitled Yenta Telebenta. Yenta was also his character in a 50 year writing career for the Jewish Daily Forward.
The name has also been used for:
- The Linux CardBus controller, which brings together Cardbus cards with the rest of the computer.
- The name of a highly-available key-value store for Perl
- The name given to Dr. Frankie Bashan, "The Lesbian Yenta", an advice columnist for Curve magazine.
- Gene Bluestein (1998), Anglish/Yinglish: Yiddish in American life and literature
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