IKEA has stepped in to remind people that they've been pronouncing the name of the store wrong this whole time. In Singapore, some customers pronounce the name of the chain as "AI-KAY-UH", but on Instagram, the retail giant decided to clear the air. They say that the moniker is pronounced "EE-KAY-UH" and it has sent people into a tailspin. Swedish brands might have encountered some of these troubles in the past. Trying to get meanings and syntax across cultures can be tricky. That's probably got a lot to do with why IKEA decided to clear the air on Instagram. Quartz actually got a hold of a spokesperson for the brand a few years ago and they broke down the meaning of their name. (It's actually an acronym!)
"IKEA" is an acronym for the founder's name, Ingvar Kamprad; the name of his family farm, Elmtaryd; and the location of that farm, in the village of Agunnaryd, in Småland, Sweden," they explained. "When Ingvar founded IKEA in 1943, he of course, pronounced it with a typical Swedish accent: "Eee-KEH-Yah."
"It's only natural that people pronounce 'IKEA' and the Swedish names of its products with a local accent," the spokesperson continued. "That's absolutely ok!"
IKEA describes themselves: "IKEA was founded by Ingvar Kamprad in 1953 and came to life as a mail-order catalogue business in the forested town of Älmhult, Sweden. Today, it's a global home furnishing brand that brings affordability, design, and comfort to people all over the world. We may have come a long way since our humble beginnings, but our vision remains the same: to create a better everyday life for the many people. Explore the IKEA story here, to learn more about our heritage, what drives us today, and the ways we seek to positively impact people and planet."
"Småland, the landscape where Ingvar grew up, was stony and rugged. Back then, many of the inhabitants had to get by with small means, making as much as possible with next to nothing. Because of this, Smålanders are said to be thrifty and innovative, with a "no-nonsense" approach to everyday problem-solving. This heritage is one explanation to the IKEA way of doing things and to our success."
Did you know IKEA was pronounced this way? Let us know down in the comments!