IKEA Naming Conventions

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IKEA Naming Conventions

We've covered IKEA hacking before, but something just came to my attention: the product names at IKEA actually have a plan behind them. (I had always just assumed they were random Swedish words.) For example, all the bookcases are words (in Swedish, Danish, Finnish, or Norwegian) for occupations. Check out the full list from Wikipedia's IKEA page:

  • Upholstered furniture, coffee tables, rattan furniture, bookshelves, media storage, doorknobs: Swedish placenames (for example: Klippan)
  • Beds, wardrobes, hall furniture: Norwegian place names
  • Dining tables and chairs: Finnish place names
  • Bookcase ranges: Occupations
  • Bathroom articles: Scandinavian lakes, rivers and bays
  • Kitchens: grammatical terms, sometimes also other names
  • Chairs, desks: men's names
  • Materials, curtains: women's names
  • Garden furniture: Swedish islands
  • Carpets: Danish place names
  • Lighting: terms from music, chemistry, meteorology, measures, weights, seasons, months, days, boats, nautical terms
  • Bedlinen, bed covers, pillows/cushions: flowers, plants, precious stones; words related to sleep, comfort, and cuddling
  • Children's items: mammals, birds, adjectives
  • Curtain accessories: mathematical and geometrical terms
  • Kitchen utensils: foreign words, spices, herbs, fish, mushrooms, fruits or berries, functional descriptions
  • Boxes, wall decoration, pictures and frames, clocks: colloquial expressions, also Swedish placenames

For example, DUKTIG (meaning: good, well-behaved) is a line of children's toys, OSLO is a name of a bed, JERKER (a Swedish masculine name) is a popular desk, DINERA (meaning: dine) for tableware, KASSETT (meaning: cassette) for media storage. One range of office furniture is named EFFEKTIV (meaning: effective), SKÄRPT (meaning: sharp or clever) is a line of kitchen knives.

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December 11, 2007 - 4:01am
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