Ida & Joseph Schwarcz wrote:
'It is my theory that the name Yenta took on its present pejorative meaning from
the series in the Forward about Yenta Tilabenda in the twenties and thirties. She
was described as having all the negative attributes of the newly arrived immigrant
from Eastern Europe. Of course Abe Cahan's goal was to americanize the newimmigrants, so she was not seen favorably.
Ida Selavan Schwarcz'
I believe the Schwarcz's are correct. When I was growing up in Brooklyn, NY in the
30s, calling someone a "Yenta" was frequently followed by the, incomprehensible to
Until reading the above message, I always thought Tilabenda was a Yiddish word.
Storrs, CT USA