Yenta #general


Ida & Joseph Schwarcz <idayosef@...>
 

To all:
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 new
immigrants, so she was not seen favorably.
Ida Selavan Schwarcz
Arad, Israel


Arnold Davidson <arnoldbd@...>
 

On Ida Selavan wrote:

To all:
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 new immigrants, so she was not seen favorably.
Ida Selavan Schwarcz
Arad, Israel
The name Yenta appears frequently in my family tree so I did some research to try
to find when and how it took on a negative connotation. Ida was correct in what
she wrote but there is more to the story. Paul Adler, grandson of the great
Yiddish theatre personality, Jacob Adler, wrote that his grandfather, Jacob Adler,
was the person that popularized the name Yenta back in early 1900's. Jacob wrote
a play called "Yenta Telebenta", which played in the Yiddish theatre, and also
wrote for the Jewish Daily Forward under the pen name of B. Kovner for 40 years,
using the name Yenta to describe a gossipy woman.

Arnold Davidson
Boynton Beach, FL
arnoldbd@mindspring.com


Anita Frankel
 

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 new
immigrants, 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
me, Tilabenda.

Until reading the above message, I always thought Tilabenda was a Yiddish word.

Anita Frankel
Storrs, CT USA


Janet Arnold <yomi427@...>
 

I also heard the expression "yenta tellerbenda" when I was a child. I asked my
parents what it meant and was told that it referred to a gossipy, loud person,
who made so much noise she "bent and broke plates when she talked." I was also
under the impression that Yenta was originally the first name of a woman >from
the Pale who was such a "yenta" her name became a noun for an extremely intrusive,
gossipy lady, much like "Yenta" in Fiddler on the Roof.

Janet Arnold