As we know, American film industry is referred as Hollywood. The American film industry is called so because the film industry emerged at the place called Hollywood, Los Angeles, CA(Correct me if I am wrong). The place adopted the name Hollywood which is informally known as Tinseltown.

But my question is not about Hollywood but the Hindi film Industry. This is widely referred as Bollywood.

From the Wikipedia page of Bollywood:

Bollywood is the sobriquet for India's Hindi language film industry, based in the city of Mumbai, Maharashtra. It is more formally referred to as Hindi cinema. The term "Bollywood" is often used by non-Indians as a synecdoche to refer to the whole of Indian cinema; however, Bollywood proper is only a part of the larger Indian film industry, which includes other production centres producing films in many other Indian languages. There is no place in India called Bollywood like the Hollywood.

Many people prefer calling it as Hindi film industry and against naming film industries with wood. There are other film industries in India too in other languages. Eg: Telugu film industry is named as Tollywood, Tamil industry is named Kollywood etc., Here is the list of Hollywood inspired nicknames.

My question:

  • Who is the creator of the word Bollywood?
  • Since when did the word become popular?
  • 11
    I heard someone recently refer to the Jamaican film industry as Jollywood, & the Nigerian film industry as Nollywood. I guess there's no stopping it now :/ ...in fact I'm going to start calling American films made in London... Lollywood.
    – Tetsujin
    May 2, 2017 at 5:34
  • 5
    afaik, they are all back-formations. Once Bollywood was back-formed from Bombay/Hollywood, the rest were easy & came in a flurry recently.
    – Tetsujin
    May 2, 2017 at 5:42
  • 2
    @Tetsujin Pollywood is a real thing and refers to Pashto films, Punjabi film and sometime Pakistani films, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pollywood,. And similarly Lollywood is a real term used for Pakistani films made in lahore
    – Ankit Sharma
    May 2, 2017 at 7:07
  • 9
    I knew once it started it would never stop ... OK, I'll have to rename them - British films can be Brollywood & Pinewood will just have to be Plywood :)
    – Tetsujin
    May 2, 2017 at 7:23
  • 4
    Instead of everyone listing names, just click on this link, and the comment section can be reduced to one line: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Hollywood-inspired_nicknames
    – pipe
    May 2, 2017 at 22:11

1 Answer 1


Bollywood is a portmanteau (a blend of linguistic words), which is derived from Bombay (currently known as Mumbai) and Hollywood, California.

The name "Bollywood" is a portmanteau derived from Bombay, India, (the former name for Mumbai) and Hollywood, California, the center of the American film industry. Bollywood does not exist as a physical place. Some deplore the name, arguing that it makes the industry look like a poor cousin to Hollywood.

This word was used in the 1970s by a writer of a magazine gossip column, but there is a disagreement on who used it first.

From ThoughtCo

The word was coined in the 1970s by the writer of a magazine gossip column, though there is disagreement as to which journalist was the first to use it.

As per BBC

"The term Bollywood is an invention of the late 20th Century, after Bombay cinema caught the imagination of the West."

Perhaps, this term became popular at that time.

  • So the word itself is inspired from Hollywood ?
    – Rahul
    May 2, 2017 at 11:59
  • Yep. It seems so.
    – A J
    May 2, 2017 at 12:01
  • @Rahul Not directly. Bengal film industry is the first one to be named after a wood. HIndi industry took it from them
    – Nog Shine
    May 2, 2017 at 18:26
  • 3
    Interesting thing to note is that many are named after localities, not cities. Tollywood in bengal because films are shot in Tollygunge, Kolkata. Kollywood in TN because shooting happpens in Kodambakkam, Chennai.
    – inarilo
    May 3, 2017 at 5:54
  • I find this term very derogatory. But it is true in the sense that a majority of Indian films are rip-offs from Hollywood movies.
    – srini
    May 18, 2023 at 9:10

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