- noun money. A vogue word in 1988 and 1989, emerging from London working-class argot into more general usage. Wamba, like many other obscure or dated synonyms (rhino, moolah, spondulicks, etc.), came into use in the financially-oriented atmosphere of the later 1980s. The word is most probably an alteration or mis-hearing of wonga, perhaps in imitation of an exotic ‘tribal-sounding’ word such as the archaic Amerindian ‘wampum’.