Today’s Guardian features a story that serves as a Rosetta stone unlocking the secrets of Ikea’s cryptic naming system.
Sofas, coffee tables, bookshelves, media storage and doorknobs are named after places in Sweden (Klippan, Malmö); beds, wardrobes and hall furniture after places in Norway; carpets after places in Denmark and dining tables and chairs after places in Finland. Bookcases are mainly occupations (Bonde, peasant farmer; Styrman, helmsman). Bathroom stuff is named after lakes and rivers.
Kitchens are generally grammatical terms, and kitchen utensils are spices, herbs, fish, fruits, berries, or functional words such as Skarpt (it means sharp, and it’s a knife). Chairs and desks are Swedish men’s names (Roger, Joel); materials and curtains are women’s names. Children’s items are mammals, birds and adjectives (Ekorre is a set of children’s toy balls; it means squirrel). So now you know.
Sort of takes all the fun out of Fartful…