Do you ever wonder how IKEA names its thousands of products? We were curious, so we reached out to the retailer's team to find out once and for all. It turns out the Scandinavian brand follows strict guidelines of product and word category association. Some products (like lights, for instance) are named after Scandinavian islands. Others—chairs and fabric, respectively—are named after Scandinavian boys' and girls' modern baby names.
While the idea of naming a baby after a favorite IKEA product seems like a bit of a stretch at first, humor us. We scoured the site to find the cutest chairs and fabrics to see if the names were just as charming as their material counterparts, and they are! Get your notepads ready—you'll want to jot these IKEA-inspired baby names down.
Sofia is the Nordic spelling of the name Sophia, which was the third-most-popular girls' name in the U.S. in 2015. It's also the name of a pretty blue-and-white–striped fabric at IKEA. The name recently grew in popularity in Sweden, thanks in part to Princess Sofia of Sweden, who married Prince Carl Philip in 2015. A stylish name that means "wisdom," it's perfect for your own little princess.
Jan is a variation of John with German origins; it means "God is gracious." While it's commonly used for boys in countries like Denmark and Sweden, it's used as a diminutive of Janet or Janice in the U.S. It's also the name of AD 100 interior designer Jan Showers. At IKEA, a beautifully simple chair is called Janinge, a combination of two popular Scandinavian boys names (Jan and Inge). To us, it's the perfect gender-neutral name.
If, like most Americans, you like the name Emma, chances are you'll love its Scandinavian counterpart, Emmie (or Emmi). The adorable girls' name is also a pretty-in-pink floral fabric at IKEA. For the Americanized spelling, opt for Emmy, like actress Emmy Rossum. The name means "universal"—perfect for your mini traveler.
The name Bernhard originates from the German word Bernhardt, meaning "strong bear." While it was most popular in the late 1800s, we heard traditional names are making a comeback. If you're "feeling the Bern," why not try the Scandinavian spelling Bernhard, which is also a sleek office chair at IKEA?
Odger is a Danish boys' name also used in French and German. It's historically a twist on the familiar name Edgar. It's also a minimalistic IKEA chair. We think Odger has a nice ring to it—could it be the next celebrity baby name?
Minna is a German name popular in Scandinavian countries. It's also already widely used in the U.S. In IKEA terms, Minna is a versatile cotton fabric available in go-with-everything gray. The moniker means "love," which is ideal for your adorable babe.
Another name rising in popularity after the Harry Potter series is Tobias, after Tobias Snape, and it seems the Swedes have taken to the Greek name in recent years. The name is also riding the popularity wave in the U.S. where it's currently on the list of most popular baby names. At IKEA, Tobias is also a clear modern chair available in a cool blue hue.
Elly—a variant of Ella, Eleanor, or Ellen—is an Irish baby name with a popular Scandinavian following. It's not surprising that IKEA picked a green hue for its kitchen towel of the same name.
The moniker is a creative spelling on the classic name Theodore, which means "divine gift." It's also the name of a colorful stackable chair at IKEA. We're saving this one in our list of traditional names that are making a comeback.
Not to be confused with "girly," the baby girls' name is Persian for "rose" and a common name in Denmark. It's also a light linen fabric from IKEA, available in a few colors. If you think that Rose is overdone, try Gurli instead.
Next up: This app is exactly like Tinder—but for baby names.
This story was originally published on July 7th, 2016 and has since been updated.