I believe that "yenta" originally meant "aunt". Although the term is often
coupled with many of the ideas you have supplied it does have a benevolent,
endearing family connotation.
David B. Klein wrote:
> I've checked this out with pianist and Yiddish expert Mimi Ezust. Yenta has
> come to mean "matchmaker" since "Fiddler on the Roof," because that was the
> name of the matchmaker, but it doesn't strictly have this meaning. Mimi was
> kind enough to provide me with the following definitions:
> a Yente is a gossip or a blabbermouth
> A Yachne is more of the same.
> A shadchen is a male matchmaker
> A schadchinte is a female matchmaker (I think)
> a Shiddach is a match
> Yenta was the proper name of the schadchinte in Fiddler.