Wosta (also spelt, woster/ waster/ waster but all pronounced in the same way, [wass-ter]) is an Arabic word which describes a polite form of corruption. 

Wosta is the non-monetary method way of circumnavigating the prevaling system, or, short cutting the rules and getting what you want without waiting.For example, say you need a job. What you will do is go visit your friend explain your situation, suggest they might be able to help and their friend goes and sorts you out a job.

Or you need a specific police report to disapear which mentions you attacked your wife.  You go to your friend in the police/ traffic department and there it is, gone. 

An 'old boy's network' if you will.

Grammar Points

In English, the term 'wosta' is used as a noun, for example; "He's got lots of wosta."

You can not say, "He's wosta-ing" (verb) or "She's a wosta-ly girl" (adjective)

Urban Legends


A friend of a friend worked for a very large shipping company. One day he received a phone call from a man who was shipping lots of fireworks from China to the Middle East for the opening event of a festival.The shipment was late and the man who was supposed to be supplying the fireworks was beginning to panic and the pressure was beginning to build.He asked,“Why hasn’t the shipment arrived yet?” to which he replied,“Fireworks aren’t just any old shipment, they need lots of paperwork and clearance. Surely you were aware of this before you said you’d ship the consignment?”The man replied,“Do you know who these fireworks are for? They are for xxxx, now do something.”My friend had heard it all before, and so replied,“I'm sure they’re not bothered in Hong Kong or Singapore about xxxx, they want the paperwork. And that’s why your shipment is stuck in Beijing.”

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