In the world of IKEA tropes, “IKEA is a death trap to couples” reigns supreme. But coming in at a close second is “I (a non-Swedish speaking individual) am somewhat flummoxed by the name of this bowl.” IKEA product names have long since been a source of delight, confusion and humor for many IKEA fans. Lucky for us, a brave man has put together the ultimate IKEA dictionary.
Lars Petrus, who is unaffiliated with the furniture giant, took on the herculean task of tracking down the origin or meaning of the 1,362 IKEA product names and is only missing an impressive 130. The names are purposefully ambiguous, so he caveats that there may be multiple meanings or places for a given product. He’s broken them down into six categories: proper Swedish words, improper Swedish words, first names, geographical names, names that can’t be defined and names he couldn’t figure out.
It’s a ton of fun to browse, pretty enlightening and just really dang impressive. Some of the products are discontinued or have different names in U.S. stores, but it is still terribly fun to scroll through. Petrus is also taking suggestions for the undefined words, so if you consider yourself a bit of a word nerd, weigh in.
Some personal favorites include:
- Dimpa— to drop unexpectedly (for a storage bag)
- Rast—to rest (for a nightstand)
- Majby—9 people in Sweden have this last name. Nothing else seems to (except this rattan chair).
More on the language of IKEA: