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14 Swedish words that conflict with the Ikea products they name
Some of these make absolutely no sense
Ikea: Confusing furniture buyers the world over.
Ikea: Confusing furniture buyers the world over. Stephen Chernin/Getty Images
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he new Ikea catalog is here, and part of the fun of looking through it is reading out the Swedish product names: EKTORP, TROMSÖ, BJÖRKUDDEN, JONSBO GRYBY… There is a system to Ikea product naming that matches word categories to product categories: occupations for bookcases, Swedish islands for garden furniture, etc. Beyond that, the word for a product will often be a simple description of some aspect of the product. For example, FRAKTA, "to carry," is a bag; HUSET, "house," is a set of dollhouse furniture; DISKA, "to wash dishes," is a dishwashing brush.

There are other names, however, that do not seem to relate to their products in any way. In fact, these 14 Ikea product names almost directly contradict the products they're attached to.

1. ÄRFTLIG – HEREDITARY, INHERITABLE

Son, these paper napkins have served us well. I hope you will one day pass them on to your grandchildren.

2. STRAPATS – HARDSHIP

Ugh! I can't believe I have to step all the way down on this pedal just to throw something away!

3. EKORRE – SQUIRREL

Indeed.

4. ENVIS – STUBBORN, HEADSTRONG

Who are you calling "spatula," huh? I'm going to carve that Thanksgiving turkey myself. You'll see.

5. FLÖRT – FLIRT

Could you lean back a bit? Yeah…let me just…reach over here…oops! Sorry…I…OK, got it. What should we watch next?

6. FNISS – GIGGLES

Awwww! Look at this! Who's a wittle, bittle, ball o' trash? You are! You're the cutie!

7. FÖRNUFT – REASON, SENSE

Because the emotional silverware always feeds you too much.

8. IMPULS – IMPULSE

Fill it with poppy seeds! No! Rubber cement! Wait! No! Half honey, half bleach!

9. KOLON – COLON

Twice the size of SEMIKOLON.

10. SENSUELL – SENSUAL

Calphalon's got nothing on those curves.

11. TYDA – INTERPRET, DECIPHER

Yes, it's a cabinet handle, but what does it mean?

12. UPPENBAR - OBVIOUS

Pssht! Everyone knows 20 ounces is equal to 5.914706 deciliters.

13. VILSE – LOST

It was here a second ago…

14. SYRLIG – ACIDIC, TART

They do all the work and the curtains get all the attention. You'd be sour too.

Arika Okrent is editor-at-large at TheWeek.com and a frequent contributor to Mental Floss. She is the author of In the Land of Invented Languages, a history of the attempt to build a better language. She holds a doctorate in linguistics and a first-level certification in Klingon.

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