Word Origin & History
c.1300, yenen, yonen, from O.E. ginian, gionian "open the mouth wide, gape," from P.Gmc. *gin- (cf. O.N. gina "to yawn," Du. geeuwen, O.H.G. ginen, Ger. gähnen "to yawn"), from PIE *gh(e)i- (cf. O.C.S. zijajo "to gape," Lith. zioju, Czech zivati "to yawn," Gk. khainein, L. hiare "to yawn, gape,"
Skt. vijihite "to gape, be ajar"). Noun meaning "act of yawning" is recorded from 1697. Yawner "something boring" is Amer.Eng. slang first recorded 1942 (yawn in this sense is attested from 1889).