Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. One employed in a particular occupation or activity: a kitchen wallah; rickshaw wallahs.
  • n. An important person in a particular field or organization: "the Ritz, a favorite haunt of Republican wallahs” ( John Robinson).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A servant or other person responsible for something, often specified after it, for example kitchen wallah.
  • n. A guy or bloke.
  • interj. Common misspelling of voilà.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A black variety of the jaguar; -- called also tapir tiger.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. usually in combination: person in charge of or employed at a particular thing

Etymologies

From Hindi -vālā, pertaining to, connected with.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Either from Hindi -वाला (-vālā, "pertaining to") or from Hindi वाला (-vālā, "person in charge"), from Sanskrit पाल (pāla, "protector"), from Proto-Indo-European *peh₂- (“protect”). (Wiktionary)
In most cases, this is simply a phonetic misspelling by a person unfamiliar with the French term. However, in some cases, a relationship may be assumed with Arabic والله wallah meaning "by God" or "I swear to God!". (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Aug 5th, 2008 at 1: 32 pm fedthefish tiffin wallah is another great choice. or, if you want an even easier intro to indian go to one of those indo-chinese fusion places in curry hill (like indo munch) that has chinese food but with some indian flare.

    PROFILE: Midtown Lunch’er “Lou” | Midtown Lunch - Finding Lunch in the Food Wasteland of NYC's Midtown Manhattan

  • "Hoo!" shouted the black, leaping from the ground, and then bursting out with a strange noise something between a rapid repetition of the word wallah and the gobbling of a turkey-cock; and then seeing that the boys laughed he repeated the performance, waved his clumsy spear over his head, and made a dash at the bullocks, prodding them in the ribs, administering a poke or two to the horses, and sending them off at a gallop toward the port.

    The Dingo Boys The Squatters of Wallaby Range

  • It is "- wallah," and can be added to a service to denote the kind of person who provides it, generation after generation.

    NYT > Home Page

  • At his side was his No 2, Danny Alexander, who had accidentally brandished chunks of the speech to the cameras on Tuesday, and who yesterday paid penance by being Mr Osborne's water-wallah, making sure that his glass and carafe were topped up at all times.

    Spending review serves up sixpences in a pudding of manure and gravel

  • Yes | No | Report from J4huntfish wrote 3 weeks 3 days ago get an altoids can and light my fre firesteel take 5 cotton balls smeared in petrolium jelly take som tinfoil wrap th coltton balls in it flatten the tin foil put flint and cotton balls in altoids can and wallah

    I'm new to starting fires with flint. I am having a heck of a time trying to get a fire started.

  • She also bore another wildman, a science-wallah, a eunuch, a freemartin, and the Princess of the Farther Spaces.

    April 5th, 2009

  • I decorated with some vanilla buttercream and wallah!

    CLASSIC BIRTHDAY CAKE

  • I slabbed some classic white frosting on top and wallah, I had myself some pretty cupcakes.

    Archive 2009-02-01

  • Vishnu at the Cat Circus: the long, concluding novella in the volume is an account of three siblings: one genetically enhanced to be a neo-Brahmin, one a rogue AI wallah who is at the center of the ascension of humanity's computers into a godlike state, and one who remains human and bails out the teeming masses who are tossed back and forth by the technological upheaval.

    Boing Boing

  • He went on to tell me Shubal (as they call him) is a rare old-school kirtan wallah who has studied for over 30 years with many masters.

    Sandy Henson Corso: My First Kirtan

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Comments

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  • Citation on bogs.

    August 2, 2008

  • Anglo-Indian: carrier-of (howdah-wallah), purveyor-of (chai-wallah), worker-at (office-wallah).

    March 11, 2007