The fun part of looking through the Ikea catalog is reading out the Swedish product names: EKTORP, TROMSÖ, BJÖRKUDDEN, JONSBO GRYBY… There is a system to Ikea product naming that matches word categories to product categories: occupations for bookcases, Swedish islands for garden furniture, etc. Beyond that, the word for a product will often be a simple description of some aspect of the product. For example, FRAKTA, “to carry,” is a bag; HUSET, “house,” is a set of dollhouse furniture; DISKA, “to wash dishes,” is a dishwashing brush.
There are other names, however, that do not seem to relate to their products in any way. In fact, these 14 Ikea product names almost directly contradict the products they’re attached to.
1. ÄRFTLIG – hereditary, inheritable
Son, these paper napkins have served us well. I hope you will one day pass them on to your grandchildren.
2. STRAPATS – hardship
Ugh! I can’t believe I have to step all the way down on this pedal just to throw something away!
3. EKORRE – squirrel
4. ENVIS – stubborn, headstrong
Who are you calling “spatula,” huh? I’m going to carve that Thanksgiving turkey myself. You’ll see.
5. FLÖRT – flirt
Could you lean back a bit? Yeah…let me just…reach over here…oops! Sorry…I…OK, got it. What should we watch next?
6. FNISS – giggles
Awwww! Look at this! Who’s a wittle, bittle, ball o’ trash? You are! You’re the cutie!
7. FÖRNUFT – reason, sense
Because the emotional silverware always feeds you too much.
8. IMPULS – impulse
Fill it with poppy seeds! No! rubber cement! Wait! No! Half honey, half bleach!
9. KOLON – colon
Twice the size of SEMIKOLON.
10. SENSUELL – sensual
Calphalon’s got nothing on those curves.
11. TYDA – Interpret, decipher
Yes, it’s a cabinet handle, but what does it mean?
12. UPPENBAR - obvious
Pssht! Everyone knows 20 ounces is equal to 5.914706 deciliters.
13. VILSE – lost
It was here a second ago…
14. SYRLIG – acidic, tart
They do all the work and the curtains get all the attention. You’d be sour too.