Meaning – origin and history of the name Yentl

Meaning – Origin and History of the Name Yentl

Origin and Meaning

Yentl is a Yiddish name that originated in Eastern Europe. The name is derived from the word “yente” which means “a busybody” or “gossiper” in Yiddish. The name is also linked to the biblical name Yenta, which means “gentle” or “lively” in Hebrew.

Usage of the Name

Yentl was originally used as a nickname for girls who were talkative and lively. However, the name gained popularity when Isaac Bashevis Singer’s short story “Yentl the Yeshiva Boy” was published in 1962. In the story, Yentl disguises herself as a boy in order to attend a religious school and pursue her love of learning. The story was adapted into a play and later a film starring Barbra Streisand, who also wrote and directed the film.

People think this name is…

Some people may associate the name Yentl with the character from Singer’s story and Streisand’s film. Others may view the name as old-fashioned or outdated. However, there are those who appreciate the unique and historic origins of the name.


According to the Social Security Administration, the name Yentl has never ranked within the top 1000 baby names in the United States.

What is the Numerology of the Name?

In numerology, the name Yentl represents the number 9. This number is associated with spiritual enlightenment, compassion, and creativity.

Sibling Name Ideas

If you are considering the name Yentl for your child, some sibling name ideas could include:

– Tzvi: This Hebrew name means “deer” or “gazelle”.
– Shira: This Hebrew name means “song” or “singer”.
– Lev: This Hebrew name means “heart” or “courage”.
– Miriam: This Hebrew name means “wished-for child”.
– Saul: This Hebrew name means “asked-for” or “prayed-for”.

20 Names Similar to Yentl

If you like the name Yentl, but are looking for something with a similar sound or meaning, consider these 20 names:

1. Gittel
2. Estelle
3. Sasha
4. Galit
5. Bertha
6. Rina
7. Nomi
8. Simone
9. Zipporah
10. Hadassah
11. Dinah
12. Leora
13. Yara
14. Mina
15. Rivi
16. Elissa
17. Yara
18. Eliora
19. Shani
20. Zareen

Famous People Named Yentl

Although the name Yentl is relatively uncommon, there are some notable people who share the name. These include:

1. Yentl Keuppens: A Belgian TV personality.
2. Yentl en de Boer: A Dutch comedy duo.
3. Yentl Stewart: A Canadian Aboriginal activist and entrepreneur.
4. Yentl Mejbri: A French footballer.

Is there the Name in the Bible/Torah/Quran?

There is no direct mention of the name Yentl in the Bible, Torah, or Quran. However, the name Yenta, which is similar in origin, is mentioned in the Talmud as a nickname for a woman named Bruriah.

Is the Name Fit for a Baby Name?

The decision to name your child Yentl is entirely up to you. While the name has a unique and storied history, it may not be a perfect fit for every family. It is important to consider factors such as the meaning, cultural significance, and popularity of the name before making a decision.

Names in Other Languages

In other languages, names with similar meanings and origins to Yentl include:

– Jente (Dutch)
– Gittel (Hebrew)
– Jedwiga (Polish)
– Yevgeniya (Russian)
– Gentian (Albanian)


1. Why did Barbra Streisand choose the name Yentl for her film?

When Streisand was working on the film adaptation of Singer’s story, she wanted to find a name that was unique and would evoke the character’s Eastern European roots. She recalled hearing the name Yentl from her grandmother and felt it was a perfect fit for the character.

2. Has the name Yentl ever been used for a boy?

While the name Yentl is traditionally a female name, there is nothing stopping a family from using the name for a boy if they so choose. In fact, the character in Singer’s story is a boy who disguises himself as a girl.

3. Is it true that Yentl was the first film to credit a woman as director, writer, producer, and star?

Yes, this is true. Streisand made history with the film Yentl by serving as the director, writer, producer, and star. She was the first woman to achieve such a feat in Hollywood.

4. What other names are associated with Yiddish culture?

Other names that are associated with Yiddish culture include:

– Chava
– Shoshana
– Tova
– Rivka
– Malka

5. What does the name Yenta mean?

The name Yenta is derived from the Yiddish word “yente” which means “a busybody” or “gossiper”. It is also linked to the Hebrew name Yenta which means “gentle” or “lively”.

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About Emma Miller

Emma Miller has enjoyed working as a writer for over 18 years and holds a Master’s Degree in Linguistics and Education, but has also studied Ancient History and Engish Literature. She is fascinated by the science of dreams and is a long-time member of the International Association for the Study of Dreams

She has a wide range of hobbies and interests, ranging from mythology and ancient cultures to the works of J.R.R. Tolkein and taking care of her extensive garden.

Emma works as one of the staff writers of Rockridge Institute – The Spirit Magazine but also enjoys writing about other topics that interest her for various publications and websites.

She lives with her husband, Tom, and their two cats, Mitzy and Frodo, in San Diego, California.

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