Back in June I wrote about a couple of nearly identically named companies with nearly identical services. (“Vendr, Meet Vendder.”) Both companies have developed applications that add retail capabilities to any website.
Now the confusion, at least in the names, has been resolved. Last week I received an email from Tiago Duarte Matos, a principal at Vendder, telling me that his rival has changed its name to Wazala! That’s Wazala’s exclamation point, not mine.
The Wazala blog announced the news with a quotation from Voltaire (“What a heavy burden is a name that has become too famous”) and reassurance that “We’re still the same people, offering the same great product, we just now have a new moniker and logo.”
As for what “Wazala” means, the renamed company is mum. A couple of guesses:
- It’s an infixed variation of wallah, a Hindi word meaning “merchant” or “someone engaged in a particular occupation.” Wallah, or a variant spelling, occasionally appears in surnames; the best-known contemporary example is probably Rashid Tobaccowala of Publicis Groupe Media.
- It’s a play on a common mispronunciation of French voilà (“there it is!” “ta-da!”) as walla. (See the Eggcorn Forum for more on this phenomenon.) The exclamation mark in the Wazala logo tends to support the interjection theory.