wallah

[wah-lah, -luh]
noun Indian 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, wallah is from the Hindi suffix -wālā suffix of relation
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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Historical Examples of wallah


British Dictionary definitions for wallah

wallah

walla

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

Word Origin for 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

Word Origin and History for wallah
n.

also walla, Anglo-Indian, from Hindi -wala, suffix forming adjectives with the sense "pertaining to, connected with;" the functional equivalent of English -er (1). Europeans took it to mean "man, fellow" and began using it as a word.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper