The name Mumbai is derived from Mumbā or Mahā-Ambā—the name of the patron goddess (kuladevata) Mumbadevi of the native Koli community— and ā'ī meaning "mother" in the Marathi language, which is the mother tongue of the Koli people and the official language of Maharashtra. The Koli people originated in Kathiawad and Central Gujarat, and according to some sources they brought their goddess Mumba with them from Kathiawad (Gujarat), where she is still worshipped. However, other sources disagree that Mumbai's name was derived from the goddess Mumba.
The oldest known names for the city are Kakamuchee and Galajunkja; these are sometimes still used. In 1508, Portuguese writer Gaspar Correia used the name "Bombaim" in his Lendas da Índia ("Legends of India"). This name possibly originated as the Galician-Portuguese phrase bom baim, meaning "good little bay", and Bombaim is still commonly used in Portuguese. In 1516, Portuguese explorer Duarte Barbosa used the name Tana-Maiambu: Tana appears to refer to the adjoining town of Thane and Maiambu to Mumbadevi.
Other variations recorded in the 16th and the 17th centuries include: Mombayn (1525), Bombay (1538), Bombain (1552), Bombaym (1552), Monbaym (1554), Mombaim (1563), Mombaym (1644), Bambaye (1666), Bombaiim (1666), Bombeye (1676), Boon Bay (1690), and Bon Bahia. After the English gained possession of the city in the 17th century, the Portuguese name was anglicised as Bombay. Ali Muhammad Khan, imperial dewan or revenue minister of the Gujarat province, in the Mirat-i Ahmedi (1762) referred to the city as Manbai.
The French traveller Louis Rousselet who visited in 1863 and 1868 tells us in his book L’Inde des Rajahs (pub. 1877 in Paris): "Etymologists have wrongly derived this name from the Portuguese Bôa Bahia, or (French: "bonne bai", English: "good bay"), not knowing that the tutelar goddess of this island has been, from remote antiquity, Bomba, or Mamba Dévi, and that she still..., possesses a temple".
By the late 20th century, the city was referred to as Mumbai or Mambai in Marathi, Konkani, Gujarati, Kannada and Sindhi, and as Bambai in Hindi. The Government of India officially changed the English name to Mumbai in November 1995. This came at the insistence of the Marathi nationalist Shiv Sena party, which had just won the Maharashtra state elections, and mirrored similar name changes across the country and particularly in Maharashtra. According to Slate magazine, "they argued that 'Bombay' was a corrupted English version of 'Mumbai' and an unwanted legacy of British colonial rule." Slate also said "The push to rename Bombay was part of a larger movement to strengthen Marathi identity in the Maharashtra region." While the city is still referred to as Bombay by some of its residents and by Indians from other regions, mention of the city by a name other than Mumbai has been controversial, resulting in emotional outbursts sometimes of a violently political nature.
People from Mumbai
A resident of Mumbai is called Mumbaikar in Marathi, in which the suffix kar means a resident of. The term had been in use for quite some time but it gained popularity after the official name change to Mumbai. Older terms such as Bombayite are also in use.