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Borrowed from Hindi चम्चा (camcā, sycophant, hanger-on, lackey, literally spoon).


chamcha (plural chamchas)

  1. (colloquial) A sycophant and hanger-on or lackey.
    • 1989. Stuart Auerbach. Washington Post. (Mar. 26) “Nehru and His Nation”
      M J Akbar has been called a chamcha to the Gandhi family, and some of that slavish devotion shows up in his uncritical acceptance of Nehru’s government-dominated economic program and the erosion of the country’s grass roots political structure as a result of the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty.
    • 1994. William Dalrymple City of Djinns: A Year in Delhi (Dec. 1) “Glossary” p. 340:
      Chamcha Sycophant (lit. ‘spoon’). 1997. Ghulam Nabi Azad. India Today (June 23) p. 13: I have my own standing in the party. I cannot be anybody’s chamcha (stooge).
    • 1997. Sudhir Vaishnav. Times of India. (Aug. 24) “A very political exercise”
      Several hangers-on. They are available aplenty everywhere in the country and are often known in the local market as Chamcha.
    • 1998. P.S. Sharma Times of India (Jan. 17) “In Praise of Chamchagiri”
      No doubt, the United Kingdom also had their sycophants—toadys, bachhas, jholichuks and hukkabardars—but chamchas of the modern vintage they had none. Chamchas are a breed apart.
    • 2004. Krishnakumar. Midday (Mumbai, India) (Sept. 21)
      Leaders’ chamchas get lucky”: All three have pulled strings in their respective parties to get Assembly poll tickets for their puppets and close confidants, better known in political parlance as chamchas.

Related terms[edit]


  • 2004 [Ambar] rvinst (Bangalore, India) (Oct. 2) “Advanced Kannada Slang”: Chamcha.
  • 2005 Asra Nomani American Prospect (Mar. 5) “Pulpit Bullies”: Speaking in Urdu, the language of South-Asian Muslims.
  • [1]
  • [2]
  • The Chamcha Age
  • Outlook India