Have you ever been in an IKEA and wondered what the names really mean? Sometimes even swedes wonder about the names, actually. You might think that they are just randomly picked, or even made up. But they actually have a great purpose!

The founder of IKEA, Ingvar Kamprad, was dyslectic and had a hard time remembering the article numbers of the products and needed a logical plan to be able to memorise them. So he named them after Nordic islands, flowers, plants, boy names, girl names and so on. The famous Billy bookshelf is for example named after an IKEA employee.

This is the logic behind the names:

Bathroom products = Names of Swedish lakes and water connections
Bedlinen = Flowers and plants
Beds, wardrobes, hallway furniture = Places in Norway
Bookshelves = Occupations and Scandinavian boy names
Bowls, vases, candles and candle holders = Places in Sweden, adjectives, spices, herbs, fruits and berries
Boxes, wall decorations, paintings, frames and watches = Swedish slang, places in Sweden
Children’s products = Animals, birds, adjectives
Desks, chairs, swivel chairs = Scandinavian boy names
Fabrics, curtains = Scandinavian girl names
Garden furniture = Scandinavian islands
Kitchen supplies = Fishes, mushrooms, adjectives
Candles = Units of measurement, seasons, months, days, shipping, nautical terms, Swedish cities
Carpets = Danish cities
Sofas, armchairs, chairs and dining tables = Swedish cities


There is a whole team working with naming the products and makes sure that the names works all over the world. A bit hard one might think as many of them contain å, ä, ö, but it seems to be working and be pretty popular.

If you know a swede, you should take them to IKEA, ask them to translate random products and make a game out of it. This clip gives you an example of the fun you could have!

Text source