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Wallah, or -wala (wali fem.), derived from Bengali, Marathi or Hindustani ওয়ালা वाला والا -vālā (suffix forming an adjectival compound with a noun or an agentive sense with a verb),[1] an Indian surname or suffix indicating a person involved in some kind of activity, where they hail from or what they wear (Topiwala),[2][3] for example:

    • Dabbawala, lunch box deliverer
    • Auto-walla, driver of an auto rickshaw
    • Chaiwala, a boy or young man who serves tea
    • Rickshawala, a rickshaw driver
    • Attar-walla, seller of perfumes and extracts
    • Kulfi-walla, maker of Kulfi (Ice-cream)
    • Kaan-saaf walla, ear cleaner
    • Bottley-walla, recycler of printed material, bottles, and these days, electronic gadgets such as TVs
    • Dudh-Walla, this is a caste, an accent and applies to milkmen
    • Punkawallah, the servant who keeps the punkah or fan going on hot nights
    • Dhobi walla, laundry worker.

Wala or Vala was also used in Parsi and Bohra surnames, suggesting the profession or a place-name, for example, Amroliwala, Daruwalla, seller of daru or Persian for wine, Mithaiwala (sweetseller) [4]

Wala is also used to indicate a specific object or thing among several.

    • chota wala, the small one
    • dusra wala, the second one
    • agla wala, the next one

See also[edit]

  • -wal, a related suffix


  1. ^ R. S. McGregor, ed. (1997). The Oxford Hindi-English Dictionary. Oxford University Press. p. 915. ISBN 978-0-19-864339-5. 
  2. ^ Clements, J. Clancy (1996). The Genesis of a Language: The formation and development of Korlai Portuguese. John Benjamins Publishing Company. pp. 139–. ISBN 978-90-272-7618-6. 
  3. ^ Barz, Richard Keith; Siegel, Jeff (1988). Language Transplanted: The Development of Overseas Hindi. Otto Harrassowitz Verlag. pp. 165–. ISBN 978-3-447-02872-1. 
  4. ^ "Reflections of a language-wala". The Hindu. February 5, 2006. Retrieved 2014-05-17.