Ikea Offers Help with Names

An Ikea store
An Ikea store (source)

Furniture company Ikea is offering to help parents find baby names. Choosing a new child’s name can be challenging, and many parents consider several names before finally settling on the name their child is likely to keep for life. With several countries experiencing pandemic-related baby booms, a lot of parents are going through this process.

Enter Ikea’s Norway branch, which has published a list of potential names online. The list is an alphabetically arranged collection of the names of Ikea furniture. Ikea, a giant furniture and home-decorating company from Sweden, often names their furniture after Swedish towns and geographical features, as well as uses names that are traditionally given to people.

The list includes the names of furniture models from as far back as the 1950s, like Balder, up to 2022’s Eirik. Some of the names, for example Vanessa and Billy, are common names among English speakers. Others, such as Poäng, are known better as furniture models among Ikea fans.

Whether many people will consider naming their child after a piece of furniture is unclear. For people outside Scandinavia, the exact pronunciation of Ikea products is not always obvious, and pronunciation is something parents consider when naming children. One thing is clear - Ikea’s offer has brought them some free publicity.

Sources: apnews.com, apartmenttherapy.com

For source links, see the article on ESLNewsStories.com

Worksheet with activities


Hear the article spoken:

Useful Language

  • Settle on (phr. v) - to make a choice after considering a few options
  • Boom (n) - a sudden increase
  • Enter (v) - (as used in stage instructions) introduces the following thing into a situation
  • Alphabetically (adv) - arranged according to the order of the letters in the alphabet
  • Name [sb/sth] after [sb/sth] (phr. v) - to give someone or something the same name as someone or something else
  • Pronunciation (n) - the way a word sounds when spoken aloud
  • Publicity (n) - the attention that a person, product, or organization gets from the media


Discuss the following questions with your partner(s).

  1. Do you like your name? Why or why not?
  2. What names of other people do you like? Do you have a favorite?
  3. How did your parents choose your name(s)?
  4. What should parents think about when naming a child?
  5. Some people name their children after celebrities or politicians. Would you consider doing this? Why or why not?
  6. Have you been to an Ikea store? What was it like? If not, what have you heard about Ikea?
  7. What’s your favorite piece of furniture? Describe it in as much detail as possible.
  8. What do you think about Ikea’s offer? Would you consider using a name from their list to name a child?
  9. Have you ever been to Scandinavia? What was it like? If not, are you interested in going there? To do or see what?
  10. Why did the pandemic lead to a baby boom in some places?