You've Been Saying IKEA All Wrong

Sophie Miura

Courtesy of Madewell

Some interior design terms are notoriously hard to pronounce. Just when you think you’ve mastered words like Miele (mee-luh), armoire (arm-war), and Arne Jacobsen (Arn-aye Yah-cop-son), it turns out a simple, four-letter Swedish brand name is one of the most commonly mispronounced: IKEA.

We know what you’re thinking: It’s an acronym! How else can it be pronounced? Well, according to Made by Oomph, it’s not as simple as it appears. The four letters in IKEA refer to the founder’s initials and hometown and are not phonetic in English. The most frequent error is placing an emphasis on “I”; in Swedish, IKEA is spoken with a soft “I,” which sounds like ih.

Common pronunciation: eye-key-ah

Actual pronunciation: ih-key-yah

Got it? Now that you’ve mastered how to pronounce the brand, learn about the story of the brand by reading Great Ikea!

Explore: IKEA, Ikea

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