Australians all know and love IKEA as the massive Swedish furniture store with uniquely named products and a layout that you’re likely to get lost in, but it turns out we’ve all been saying its name wrong.
Twitter users have recently been informed that the common pronunciation Australians and Americans have been using, ‘eye-key-uh’, is actually incorrect.
YouTuber Mac Does It kicked off the online conversation on Monday, tweeting: “So IKEA is pronounced like (EE-key-uh) not (EYE-key-uh) and no one was gonna tell me?”
Naturally, a number of people were shocked by the revelation that they’re been pronouncing the store’s name incorrectly their whole lives.
“I refuse to acknowledge this,” one person wrote, while another added, “I don’t believe that actually”.
“I’m just gonna delete this tweet from my EYEs,” a third said, followed by someone else with, “It’s a company, I’ll pronounce it however I damn well feel like pronouncing it”.
Others, particularly those who live in Europe, were more surprised that people didn’t already know how to say ‘IKEA’.
“I mean, all of us in the scandi-region already knew this,” a user replied.
“The entire non-English speaking world pronounces this non-English name like that,” another wrote.
A Google search also showcases ‘ee-kay-uh’ as the correct way to say it, as well as numerous YouTube tutorials.
The ‘IKEA’ pronunciation debate first emerged in 2019 after the store launched a sleep podcast with the Swedish narrators using the ‘correct’ pronunciation.
After receiving a number of questions about it from listeners, an IKEA spokesperson confirmed the proper way to say the name.
“The word ‘IKEA’ brings together the name of IKEA founder Ingvar Kamprad with the name of his family farm Elmtaryd and home village of Agunnaryd, Sweden (creating the acronym IKEA),” they told The West Australian.
“When Ingvar founded IKEA in 1943, he of course pronounced it with a typical Swedish accent: ‘Eee-KEH-Yah’.”
However, the spokesperson said that it is “absolutely OK” for Australians to say ‘eye-key-uh’.
“The IKEA brand is today present in more than 49 markets,” they said. “It’s only natural that people pronounce ‘IKEA’ and the Swedish names of its products with a local accent.”
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