On one of those afternoons when there isn’t much to do and there’s this random chain of thought stopping at completely random stations I started wondering why anything is called anything at all. So if the first guy who invented a shirt called it ‘badumtum’ we’d all keep saying “oh, I’m wearing a red badumtum today”. Yes, it sounds awfully stupid. And while there may not be a rational explanation for why a shirt is called a shirt, there are a few for why places get their weird names. Here’s a few of them with the stories that led to such funny names!
Bhuleshwar has nothing to do with forgetting. The place gets its name this popular marketplace, known for its flower and fabric market gets its name from Lord Shiva. He is also known as ‘Bhola’ and hence the name Bhuleshwar.
Dharavi, popularly known for housing the largest slums in Asia gets its name from the word door or Daar in Marathi. Located between Mahim and Sion, this place is at the site of the doors to our city, the island that forms Mumbai. No millionaire movie would be able to tell you about this one!
If you think that’s where all the bhindi comes from, you are absolutely wrong. The place was initially called ‘Behind the bazaar’. In an attempt to say it faster or because of corruption in the term, people eventually began to say ‘Bhindi’ bazaar and the name has stuck ever since.
Dahi means curd but that’s not how this place acquired its name. The term Dahisar stems from daha, meaning ten in the local dialect. The place was once made up of ten tiny hamlets; they were immigrants that could have settled on the banks of a seasonal river that flows through this place.
This place gets its name from the crabs. Popularly known as ‘kurli’, these were found in abundance. The area was surrounded by marshy land that provided habitat for the crabs.
The name Kurla has caught on since then.
Kopar means corner and therefore, Ghatkopar literally translates to the corner of a ghat. This area located between vidya vihar and Vikhroli was made up of several small hills forming a ghat area.
The sobo crowd might refer to this place as a hill station but Vasai is a place of great historic importance. It was known as Bassein during the Portuguese rule, however, the name ‘Vasya’ is also found on Kanheri cave inscriptions.
The place derives its name not from the biscuit but from a set of two villages that were situated in the area. One known as Idla, currently transformed into Irla the famous shopping hub and Padla. Over the years, the place came to be known as Vile Parle. Sound similar?
Tamarind, also known as chincha in Marathi is where the name originates from. A lot of these trees grew in the area.
While the most obvious reason could be that there is an old masjid in the area, it is close but not entirely true. The place gets its name from the Gate of Mercy synagogue which is a Jewish prayer house. The people referred to it as juni masjid since it’s the oldest synagogue in the city.