dabbawalla

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English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Borrowed from Marathi डबेवाला (ḍabevālā), Hindi डब्बावाला (ḍabbāvālā), literally "person with a box".

Noun[edit]

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dabbawalla (plural dabbawallas)

  1. (India) A deliveryperson in Mumbai, India who collects freshly cooked food in lunchboxes from workers' residences (mostly in the suburbs), delivers it to their respective workplaces, and returns the empty containers.
    • 2007 May 29, Saritha Rai, “In India, Grandma Cooks, They Deliver”, in New York Times[1]:
      “There is a service called FedEx that is similar to ours — but they don’t deliver lunch,” said one dabbawalla, Dhondu Kondaji Chowdhury.