Mumbai/Bombay article

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Sat Jul 15 19:55:21 UTC 2006

Portuguese is a language with grammatical gender. "Bom Bahía" is
imposible. It would have to be "Bõa Bahía." So, forget that WAG. And
is there an actual word "baim" in Portuguese?


On 7/13/06, Cohen, Gerald Leonard <gcohen at> wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       "Cohen, Gerald Leonard" <gcohen at UMR.EDU>
> Subject:      Re: Mumbai/Bombay article
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> It's a coincidence. Mumbai is from the goddess Mumba-devi, and Bombay is from Portuguese for "Good Bay."  Meanwhile, I see that Mumba may in turn derive from "Maha Amba" (= Great Mother).  A check of Google, for example, turns up:
>                 'An etymology of Mumba that is popular is "Maha Amba," or "Great Mother," one of the many of India's more well-known names for the Hindu Mother Goddess ( Devi).'
> The above quote may or may not be correct.  Can any scholars (academic or independent) shed light on this?
> Gerald Cohen
> ________________________________
> From: American Name Society on behalf of Mark A. Mandel
> Sent: Thu 7/13/2006 10:08 AM
> Subject: Re: Mumbai/Bombay article
> Howard Wilk quotes:
>     >>>>>
> The name change didn't impact all of Mumbai's residents. Speakers of Marathi
> and Gujarati, the local languages, have always called the city Mumbai.
> "Bombay" is an anglicization of the Portuguese name "Bombaim," which is
> believed to derive from the phrase "Bom Bahia," or "Good Bay." (Portugal
> held territories in western India until 1961.) In Hindi, India's national
> language, the city is still called Bambai.
>  <<<<<
> So are "Bombay" and "Mumbai" related at all, or is the similarity just a
> coincidence?
> -- Mark A. Mandel
> [This text prepared with Dragon NaturallySpeaking.]
> ------------------------------------------------------------
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