When traveling you come across some fabulous words that need a bit of promoting to get them back into common use, here are 3 that I have come across:


Wallah – Is a person who is associated with a particular work or who performs a specific duty or service.


This word is not so commonly used these days, but i love it. It takes me back to the 1970s TV series, It aint half hot Mum.


Chawallah are the men that served up tea and Punkawallah was the early Indian air conditioning system. Which essentially consisted of some poor guy who used to fan the rich and military elite. Often this was set up through a contraption of pulleys to their foot.


A wallah that is common in Mumbai is the Dabbawallah or Tiffin Box Carrier. These guys collect meals from people’s houses, often in the slum, and deliver them to people at their workplace, often in the city. It is a sorry site though when this age old tradition is being disrupted by terrorism. Terrorists have been using the tin Tiffin Boxes to disguise explosives and under the guise of the Dabbawallah transporting these explosives to key sites in India’s cities. Damn that President of Americawallah for aggravating such world chaos.


Wallah is a word that I would like to see more of and as such am trying to promote its usage. An ITwallah fixed my computer, a Barwallah poured me a beer, a Toothwallah, a Brain surgeonwallah, a Formula 1 racingwallah. Genius, ooh wallah wallah.



Goonda. Which comes from the Hindi word gunda, meaning rascal. A goonda, is a heavy, some muscle or a local gangster. Someone you want to know in times of trouble. Someone you don’t want to know in times of trouble. Its a great word and probably is where goon comes from in English, and has a similar meaning.


I think we should change the word bouncer for goonda. Every bar in England now seems to have a goonda at the door. I’m not going to tell them this though, because I am sure they will take it the wrong way and get a load of other goondas to kick my head in.


In Mumbai there is the Chor Bazaar. Now in English slang there is the word chor…as defined by www.urbandictionary.com: Chor is another word to mean steal and is commonly used in the chav regions of Kent/Essex/South london.


Example: “You just Chorred my fags bro.”, meaning ”You just stole my cigarettes old bean”.


So interestingly enough Chor Bazaar is also known as Thieves Market. I wonder if this is where the word evolved from. However, the market actually isn’t full of knocked off gear and it isn’t  running a mock with backpackers buying back their recently half inched rucksacks.  One of the stories as to how it got its name was that when Queen Victoria visited India, some scoundrel stole her violin. And guess where they found it…Chor Bazaar…the blighters.


Chor, Goonda and Wallah, use ’em or loose ’em.