Yenta: A Definition

In Uncategorized on December 3, 2009 at 4:58 am

Dear Yenta,

Should I listen to your advice if I’m not Jewish? Would you answer
this question differently if I were Jewish?

I think this should go under the mental health category, as I get a
little nutty.



Dear G,

Yenta’s advice = non-denominational words delivered to someone who solicits it. As for the Jewish nature of a Yenta, perhaps a slight education is in order.

What, you may be wondering, is a Yenta? It is a Yiddish word for a matchmaking elderly gossip or busybody. A Yenta is someone who might be in charge of spreading rumors, giving advice, helping you find a nice Jewish boy. According to the Urban Dictionary, “Just as there are bad witches and good witches, so there are good yentas and bad yentas. A good yenta provides you knowledge and wisdom about everything.”

“Yenta,” however, is just a Yiddish word for a universal character. Every community has an older woman who knows and sees all the local social happenings, and may meddle where both needed and unneeded. So yes, goy or no goy, the advice, although flowing from a Jewess, knows no borders.

Moby Thesaurus says the following words are synonyms of Yenta: Paul Pry, Peeping Tom, a tale-bearing animal, backseat driver, busybody, eavesdropper, gossip, gossip columnist, gossiper, gossipmonger, inquirer, inquisitive, inquisitor, intermeddler, kibitzer, meddler, newsmonger, newspaperman, nosy Parker, prier, pry, querier, querist, questioner, quidnunc, reporter, rubberneck, rubbernecker, rumormonger, scandalmonger, scopophiliac, sightseer, snoop, snooper, tabby, talebearer, taleteller, tattler, tattletale, telltale, tittle-tattler, voyeur.

With the advice, do what you will, be you black, white, orange or blue, Muslim, Sikh, Christian or Jew. Take it or leave it, sugar.

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