Ikea shoppers know that the Swedish furniture emporium uses a particular style to name its myriad of products. It's obvious that some have Swedish names, but some other items actually get completely made-up words or share names with geographical hotspots. To help curious shoppers get through the cinnamon roll-scented haze, Lars Petrus created the Ikea Dictionary, which explores the names behind almost every single Ikea offering.
LifeHacker reports that Petrus' idea for The Ikea Dictionary came about after he found out that some of Ikea's product names are actually examples of clever wordplay. He wanted to share the discovery with everyone and compiled the dictionary on his own, without any help from Ikea. Even after he cataloged over 1,000 different names, it's still a labour of love and not affiliated with Ikea at all.
Petrus dictionary divides all of the names into a few groups: "proper Swedish words, improper Swedish words, first names, geographical names, and some weird ones that just don’t seem to fit in any category."
Some of the outliers include the store's wicker Majby chair, which borrows its name from a Swedish last name that only nine people have; the Torsby table, which borrows its name from a village and translates to "Thor's Village;" and Zita, an oven mitt, the oldest cinema in Stockholm and the patron saint of maids. The geographical names come from places in Sweden, Denmark, Norway, and Finland. Petrus is even working on a map of all the places for anyone inclined to see exactly where rugs and pillows get their names.
The Ikea Dictionary is still incomplete, with 130 missing items, but it's still a fun way to find out what bookcases and kitchen gadgets are really named for. Petrus is looking for help, too, so if anyone out there has an understanding of Swedish, geography, or complete nonsense, he'll take all the help he can get.
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