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December 14, 2007


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You might enjoy Raymond Chen's experiments with IKEA naming:


And there I was thinking the names just came from the lyrics of the collective works of ABBA in their native tongue! But seriously, if you knew how cool I thought the revelation of the method to the IKEA naming madness was, you'd think I was pathetic. You'd be right!

I joke with my wife that after we've been to Ikea the only thing I ever come home with is the Throbbin Noggen.

My mothers name is the name of table runners at Ikea. She is Danish, so it makes sense, she was pretty excited to find them too.

IKEA Australia recently renamed their "Jerker" series of desks to "Fredrik". Can't imagine why...

This can actually be true. Well almost all the names from the ikea furniture are swedish words in some way. (I'm swedish btw). I love it like that actually, much better than "MX-548".

I can't believe people waste their time thinking about this shit.

The thing about Gutvik was that it was the name of a bunk bed for children... Caused quite a scandal in Germany.

This was actually interesting, I will post a link to this info. Thanks.

On a related topic (related to the Gutvik incident) - onother swedish company - H&M -got into a similar situation with a pair of girls' jeans. They were called Fit Slick - which in swedish means c*nt lick...

Another example here in Germany is the name "Viren" for bathroom accessories. Exactly the same word is used for the plural of "Virus".

My favourite is the Fartfull:


...and furthermore, the swedish pronunciation of IKEA (ee-kee-ah, more or less) is the same with the ancient greek word for "house" (Οικία).

"And what subtle intra-Scandinavian tensions or harmonies are revealed by the assignment of Danish, Norwegian, and Finnish words to certain categories but not others?"

It is truly an art to be able to write such bollocks as flamboyantly and eloquently as you do, especially about something only anglophones on the West side of the Atlantic worry about.

The names are written in Danish and Norwegian as well as Swedish because Ikea had its first shops in those three countries. Scandinavia has no true geopolitical borders and the people are free to move from country-to-country living and working as they see fit. Unlike the US with its neighbours, the Scandinavians value this relationship as they value their often intertwining histories. Their collective modern-day progressionism (which I've labelled progressive values, politics and mentality for lack of a better term) is also important to them, as they consistently top every "World's Best X" list that gets published. There is no bloody stereotype about the way any one of the Nordic peoples sets their damn table.

Dr. W

It's interesting to find the pattern, but cmon, PhDs? You gotta be kidding.

Interesting to see how those who don't speak Swedish is interested in the naming system Ikea uses. I find it amusing myself as it differs from other companies that gives their products boring names.

Still. I would advice you to do more research.

You claim this: Bookcase ranges: Occupations

That is wrong, but sure, I will gladly be corrected if I'm wrong, but when was 'Billy' an occupation?

I actually thought that IKEA really meant "common sense" in Swedish. I don't listen/watch commercials any more.

I loved Daniel Reeders comment.

I bought the Billy shelves.

What kind of occupation is a "billy".

dictionary.com yielded nothing but goats and clubs...

"Billy" nothing but a male name, just like "Gorm".

I work for IKEA in Northern Ireland, I thought this information was already quite widely known. Although it's interesting to note that 'Pax' is a Norwegian place name, since at least 40% of all the orders we receive in our department are for Pax wardrobe frames.

Now if only you could uncover the IKEA instruction manual system we'd all be set

There is no Pax in Norway. I´m Norwegian and even did a mapsearch for it to be 100% shure. ;)

Pax (or paxa) is a Swedish expression for "call dibs". That could be the meaning since everyone seems to want that one.

So how does "Ivar" fit into this theory? It's got to be the most popular storage system/book shelves ever sold. it was a best seller 30 years ago, and still is. Ivar is a Norwegian mans name...

Now if they can figure out how Autechre name their tunes...

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