The mystery scientific classification behind IKEA’s item names

The mystery scientific classification behind IKEA’s item names, from Billy to Poäng

Perusing bizarre sounding Swedish words is a piece of the delight of shopping at IKEA. Inside the maze of smart level pack furniture is a pänoply of ödd, åccented pröduct nämes, imprinted on hang labels, dividers and standards. What most customers don’t know is that the names of those 12,000 items fit in with a severe inward rationale that offers a look into Scandinavian culture.

At a Jan. 25 item exhibit in New York City, IKEA architect Jon Karlsson clarified that IKEA has a break group of item namers, who dole out names from a database of Swedish words. Shelves are named after expert occupations (Expedit implies retailer) or young men’s names (The top of the line Billy bookshelf is named after IKEA representative Billy Likjedhal). Open air furniture is named after Scandinavian islands (Äpplarö an island in the Stockholm archipelago and Västerön is in Aaland). Mats are named after urban communities and towns in Denmark or Sweden (Ådum, Stockholm, Silkeborg), while bed sheets, sofa-beds and pillowcases are named after blossoms and plants. (Häxört or circaea lutetian is a herb in the primrose family).

The principles for naming were conceived by IKEA’s originator Ingvar Kamprad, who battled with dyslexia and experienced difficulty recalling the request for numbers in thing codes. The name IKEA itself is abbreviation for Ingvar, Kamprad, Elmtaryd (his family’s homestead) and Agunnaryd (the town in Småland where he experienced childhood in).


To disentangle stock for its 389 stores far and wide, the Swedish home outfitting chain utilizes a similar name for its items in the entirety of its business sectors. The database is winnowed for words that may have hostile implications in different dialects—however here and there things tumble off the radar. In the chronicles of terrible IKEA item names: 2004’s Fartfull youngsters’ workbench, Fartyg roof light, and the dotty Stenklöver duvet set. Karlsson says creators now and again get the opportunity to propose imaginative names for their manifestations, yet normally the naming council adheres to an all around characterized conspire.

There are exemptions. A few items are given names that bring out their capacity. For example, IKEA’s recently propelled bike is designated “Sladda” which means “slip” in Swedish. In the kitchen segment, there’s a zest factory called Krossa, which intends to pound or granulate.


“Sladda” = slide

In the event that you recall this key, you may take in some things from the enormous level pack Swedish word reference that is IKEA:

Restroom articles = Names of Swedish lakes and waterways

Bed materials = Flowers and plants

Beds, closets, lobby furniture = Norwegian spot names

Cabinets = Professions, Scandinavian kid’s names

Bowls, jars, light and flame holders = Swedish spot names, descriptive words, flavors, herbs, foods grown from the ground

Boxes, divider embellishment, pictures and casings, timekeepers = Swedish slang articulations, Swedish spot names

Kids’ items = Mammals, winged animals, descriptors

Work areas, seats and swivel seats = Scandinavian kid’s names

Textures, shades = Scandinavian young lady’s names

Nursery furniture = Scandinavian islands

Kitchen extras = Fish, mushrooms and modifiers

Lighting = Units of estimation, seasons, months, days, transportation and nautical terms, Swedish spot names

Carpets = Danish spot names

Couches, easy chairs, seats and eating tables = Swedish spot names

In case you’re interested about what words really mean, Sweden’s Rubix Cube champion Lars Petrus assembled an accommodating, if fragmented Swedish-to-English word reference of IKEA item names. Once in a while, IKEA goes the additional mile to interpret its names as well. A month ago, it enchanted fans with Retail Therapy, a shrewd promoting effort that coordinated IKEA item names with the most Googled look in Sweden.


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