The secret taxonomy behind IKEA’s product names, from Billy to Poäng


(Reuters/Toby Melville)

Did you know that bathroom articles at IKEA are given names of Swedish lakes and bodies of water? Or that the Billy bookcase was named after IKEA employee Billy Likjedhal? Everything you’d ever want to know about IKEA product naming was explained at a Jan. 25 product showcase in New York City, by IKEA designer Jon Karlsson. He revealed that IKEA has a crack team of product namers, who assign names from a database of Swedish words. Quartz covers the event and looks at IKEA’s naming rules. You knew that IKEA was an acronym, right? It stands for Ingvar (founder’s first name), Kamprad (founder’s surname), Elmtaryd (his family’s farm) and Agunnaryd (the village in Småland where he grew up in).