Wednesday, May 18, 2011

What do the names at IKEA mean?

My daughter, Polly and I often shop at Ikea for a variety of things. Many household items are unique and so affordable. It was always such a great place to shop in Switzerland, when Polly lived there. We were thrilled when they opened their huge store here in Portland.
I think it is so funny how they pronounce the name here in the USA. (Ī kē uh) I don't know why they have chosen to give a different sound from how all the European countries pronounce it. (Ē kā uh) Someone once tried to correct Polly one day when she pronounced it as they do in Europe. She answered (like the smart aleck she is), "Well I guess we better tell the Swedes they're saying it wrong!"
We love to stop and eat in the cafe. We always come home with Swedish groceries. So many things that are unique and unavailable in local super markets.

One thing we have wondered for some time: What do the IKEA product names mean? How do they choose them?
A nice article on their blog, LIVET HEMMA, revealed the following key to the names. (Only thing is, I still don't know what each name means, since I don't speak Swedish, Norwegian, or Danish!) Oh well, just lead me to the meatballs!!

Beds, wardrobes and hall furniture: Norwegian place names.
Sofas, chairs, tables and chairs: Swedish place names.
Carpets: Danish place names.
Bookcases: Occupations and Scandinavian boy's name.
Textiles and curtains: Scandinavian maiden name.
Children's Products: Mammals, birds and descriptive words.
Cuisine: Descriptive Name, use of the product and its function.
Kitchenware: Fish, sponges and descriptive words.

At one time, naming was handled manually, but today is a whole computer system dedicated to this, filled with boys and girls names, place names, descriptive names, names of plant and animal kingdom and the new hose. The names have you've found from dictionaries, crosswords, maps and lists of names.


Sarah said...

Glad to know the correct way to pronounce this. We have an IKEA in the area, but it is so far away that I've only been twice. It was packed with shoppers both trips. ~ Sarah

lvroftiques said...

I wondered about that too? I guess I-key-a was easier for most Americans to pronounce? In our commercials it's even pronounced that way.
I had no idea how they named their products? But I've always thought they were cute. I speak a little Danish so I understand most of them.
And LOVE their meatballs with lingonberries!! Delish!!
How's the weather in Portland? We finally have sun here in Seattle. I thought it would never come! *winks* Vanna


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