Definition of wallah
: a person who is associated with a particular work or who performs a specific duty or service —usually used in combination the book wallah was an itinerant peddler — George Orwell
wallah was our Word of the Day on 05/26/2007. Hear the podcast!
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Did You Know?
Wallah comes from the Hindi suffix -vālā, meaning "one in charge." Like its Hindi counterpart, "wallah" is commonly used in combination with other nouns. The first use of "wallah" appeared as "lootywallah" in a narrative penned by Officer Innes Munro describing his time deployed on the Coromandel Coast of India in the 1780s. "Looty," or "lootie," was a noun sometimes applied to a member of a band of marauders or robbers. In the narrative, Munro used the term to describe looting cavalrymen. In current writing, "wallah" is typically accompanied by words like "office" or "marketing."
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