Where Does IKEA Get Its Funny Names?

We’ve always wondered where IKEA gets its crazy product names, like the Kramfors sofa and BEST


GRA TV unit with casters. It turns out IKEA actually has funky a system based on names of stuff from its native lands, says ahundredmonkeys.com.

Items for the bathroom like Apskar (a wash basin), Toftbo (a bathroom mat), and Sanni (a bath sheet) are named after Scandanavian lakes, rivers and bays–that seems appropriate.

Stuff for kids is named after mammals, birds, and adjectives. So if you buy your children a Smyg, they’re getting a lamp named for a wren. And a child’s desk is Fartful, which of course means “speedy” in Swedish.

For the full run-down, Wikipedia has all the answers.

Unraveling the IKEA product naming mystery [a hundred moneys] (Thanks to c-side!)


Edit Your Comment

  1. superlayne says:

    …Is it immature of me to laugh at Fartful?

  2. legotech says:

    @superlayne: At least you just laughed, when I first saw it I submitted it to Jay Leno for Headlines :)


  3. Shadowfire says:

    @superlayne: Tell your kids that’s what it means… maybe it’ll make them study more.

  4. DHock says:

    @shadowfire: come on, do we really think that encouraging a different meaning for fartful will really help your children in school?

    more likely it’ll help them want to move to Sweden to avoid being tortured.

  5. WannaGetMatzoBalled says:

    If I sit too long at a desk, I get fartful myself…..
    (how unfeminine a comment..but take a look at Jezebel and it’s really rather tame :) )

  6. not_seth_brundle says:

    @superlayne: No more so than laughing at runners for doing a fartlek (“speed play”) workout.

  7. uricmu says:

    I think that several years ago, Mad Magazine had a feature called “Ikea furniture name OR exotic disease”.

  8. LatherRinseRepeat says:

    I think Ikea discontinued the Jerker computer desk. They made some changes to the design and renamed it to something else.

  9. Uriel says:

    Crazy Swedes, they’re FAR too French for me!

  10. V-effekt says:

    The children’s bed named Gutvik was pulled from Germany, where it sounds a lot like Gut-Fick, a “good F&%k.” No M.Jackson joke needed here.

  11. Bobg says:

    Check out the following site on who owns IKEA. No one owns it. It has the most convoluted corporate structure I’ve ever seen. One foundation after another (no taxes.)


  12. skittlbrau says:

    when i was in school in denmark we took a fieldtrip to the IKEA headquarters in Sweden. we were told then for a long time the wife of IKEAs founder made up the name of almost every product. Not sure if that’s still in place, but it does explain the excessive use of swedish words.

    On an unrelated note, I love the IKEA swedish meatballs in their cafeteria. Oh, and the saltly licorice.

  13. ord2fra says:

    My wife and I were shocked to see the name we had picked out for our son used for the JERKER replacement. We kept the name though, and hopefully IKEA will replace that by the time he goes to school…

  14. macinjosh says:

    @LatherRinseRepeat: Yeah, they named it Spankker. :D