or wal·la

[ wah-lah, -luh ]

nounIndian English.
  1. a person in charge of, employed at, or concerned with a particular thing (used in combination): a book wallah; a ticket wallah.

Origin of wallah

First recorded in 1770–80; from Hindi -wālā, an adjective suffix meaning “connected with, pertaining to,” also a noun suffix meaning “person in charge” (functionally equivalent to the English agent noun suffix -er1); from Prakrit, Sanskrit pāla- “protector,” a derivative of the root pā- “to protect”

Words Nearby wallah

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use wallah in a sentence

  • Malcolm understood instantly that his native companion had found the ekka-wallah more communicative.

    The Red Year | Louis Tracy
  • Mr. Fumigator-wallah is not the least busy of the more retiring members of a war-hospital staff.

  • There may be many who will readily disagree with my disparagement of the Indian Jadoo-wallah.

    Indian Conjuring | L. H. Branson
  • A box wallah with his attendant coolie, staggering under the weight of a huge box of Manchester goods, hurries by.

  • "Ah, yes; but your wallah frequently falls asleep at his work," you remark to the resident.

    East of Suez | Frederic Courtland Penfield

British Dictionary definitions for wallah



/ (ˈwɒlə) /

  1. (usually in combination) informal a person involved with or in charge of (a specified thing): the book wallah

Origin of wallah

C18: from Hindi -wālā from Sanskrit pāla protector

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012