A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from November 19, 2015
“IKEA is Swedish for divorce”

IKEAis a Swedish multinational group that is the world’s largest furniture retailer. “IKEA” is an acronym that consists of the initials of Ingvar Kamprad (the founder), Elmtaryd (the farm where he grew up), and Agunnaryd (his hometown in Småland, south Sweden).

The name has been the source of many jokes. “Surely you’ve heard that IKEA is swedish for ‘out of stock’” was cited in 1998. “Ikea is Swedish for crap” was cited in 2000. “Ikea is Swedish for particle board” was cited in 2005. Canadian actor Ryan Reynolds did a humorous video in 2015; after much difficulty in assembling an IKEA crib, Reynolds declared that “IKEA is Swedish for fuck you.”

Couples often argue when buying furniture at IKEA, and then argue further when assembling the furniture at home. “IKEA - it’s Swedish for divorce!” was cited in 2006. “Going to divorce land = ikea today!” was cited on Twitter on August 21, 2009. “Amy Poehler once said that IKEA is Swedish for ‘argument’” was cited in The New Yorker on October 3, 2011. “Couples know that the word ‘IKEA’ is Swedish for ‘Shop and Fight’” was cited in The Globe and Mail) on October 8, 2011.

Other IKEA sayings include “IKEA: Legos for adults” and “It’s IKEA’s birthday today, so I took them some eggs, flour, icing sugar, butter and a whisk, and told them there’s your fucking cake.”


Wikipedia: IKEA
IKEA (/aɪˈkiːə/; Swedish: [ɪˈkeːˈa]) is a multinational group of companies that designs and sells ready-to-assemble furniture (such as beds, chairs and desks), appliances, small motor vehicles and home accessories. As of January 2008, it is the world’s largest furniture retailer. Founded in Sweden in 1943 by then-17-year-old Ingvar Kamprad, who was listed as one of the world’s richest people in 2013, the company’s name is an acronym that consists of the initials of Ingvar Kamprad, Elmtaryd (the farm where he grew up), and Agunnaryd (his hometown in Småland, south Sweden). The company is known for its modern architectural designs for various types of appliances and furniture, and its interior design work is often associated with an eco-friendly simplicity. In addition, the firm is known for its attention to cost control, operational details, and continuous product development, corporate attributes that allowed IKEA to lower its prices by an average of two to three percent over the decade to 2010 during a period of global expansion. The IKEA group has a complex corporate structure and is controlled by several foundations based in the Netherlands, Luxembourg and Liechtenstein.

Google Groups: ott.general
DREADFUL service from IKEA
John D. Ford
9/7/98
Surely you’ve heard that IKEA is swedish for ‘out of stock’.

Google Groups: alt.feminism
fems taking the piss
jrme...@panix.com
4/26/00
Of course this comes from the land of Ikea.
Ikea is Swedish for crap.
Jeremy
(who hates Ikea furniture)

Bloomberg Businessweek
Ikea
November 13, 2005
(...)
A vocal minority rails at Ikea for its long lines, crowded parking lots, exasperating assembly experiences, and furniture that’s hardly built for the ages (the running joke is that Ikea is Swedish for particle board).

Just Jussi
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 20, 2006
IKEA - it’s Swedish for divorce!
My house looks like a flatpak factory exploded, every vertical surface has a wafer of brown cardboard leant against it, the fold-out couch (from IKEA) is loaded with boxes, all bearing that familiar logo (actually the outdoor setting is from another company - but lets keep it simple).

Twitter
Yolanda
‏@heylandy
Going to divorce land = ikea today! Woot cheap Swedish furniture!
4:55 PM - 21 Aug 2009

Twitter
Philip (flip) Kromer
‏@mrflip
OH from @donkromagena “IKEA is Swedish for ‘divorce’”
3:41 AM - 12 Jan 2010

The Globe and Mail (Canada)
The trouble with Harrods
LEAH MCLAREN
Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, May 14, 2010 12:01PM EDT
Last updated Thursday, Sep. 06, 2012 4:04PM EDT
(...)
In addition to being the international intersection of Money and Bad Taste, Harrods is also a good place to seriously damage your relationship. If IKEA, as the wags say, is Swedish for “divorce,” Harrods is Anglo-Arabic for “mariticide.”

The New Yorker
A Reporter at Large OCTOBER 3, 2011 ISSUE
A House Perfect
Is the IKEA ethos comfy or creepy?

BY LAUREN COLLINS
(...)
Amy Poehler once said that IKEA is Swedish for “argument.” In Tribeca, I pridefully refused IKEA, like a child announcing that she no longer plays with dolls. IKEA can also be Swedish for feeling like you’re never going to grow up.

The Globe and Mail (Canada)
Why IKEA’s ‘Manland’ is Swedish for emasculated baby-men
KATRINA ONSTAD
Published Saturday, Oct. 08, 2011 12:01AM EDT
Last updated Friday, Jul. 27, 2012 9:36AM EDT
It has been said that there is no greater test of a relationship than navigating the life-altering choice between a Krunst and a Gertllös throw rug. Couples know that the word “IKEA” is Swedish for “Shop and Fight.”

The Wall Street Journal
Can Your Relationship Handle a Trip to IKEA?
The furniture store can easily lead to arguments for stressed-out couples; how to avoid the ‘IKEA meltdown’

By HILARY POTKEWITZ
April 22, 2015
In therapy, so many couples mention fighting while shopping at IKEA or while assembling what they buy there that clinical psychologist Ramani Durvasula has started embracing the retailer as a tool for a communications exercise. The Santa Monica, Calif., therapist often tasks couples with putting together a large piece of furniture at home and reporting back on how it went.

The Huffington Post
Carly Ledbetter
Experts Confirm That Ikea Will Put Your Relationship To The Ultimate Test
Posted: 04/24/2015 3:08 pm EDT Updated: 04/25/2015 11:59 am EDT
In a surprise to absolutely no one, Ikea, the furniture company that jokingly refers to certain products as “husband killers,” is bad for relationships.

According to a recent report from the Wall Street Journal, relationship experts say that a trip to Ikea will lead to an argument. And, obviously, assembling Ikea furniture generally ensures a blow up.

Twitter
Simon
‏@simoninthesand
@DanieTreg IKEA = is Swedish for divorce!
7:52 AM - 30 Aug 2015

The Huffington Post
We Are All Ryan Reynolds Struggling To Build This Ikea Crib
“Ikea is Swedish for f*ck you.”

Jamie Feldman (Associate Style Editor, The Huffington Post)
Posted: 09/22/2015 03:57 PM EDT | Edited: 09/22/2015 04:47 PM EDT
Ryan Reynolds may look better than us while attempting the daunting task of Ikea furniture assembly, but that doesn’t mean he knows how to do it better.

A new video, released in conjunction with an interview for GQ, shows the actor as he tries to put together an Ikea crib (presumably for his and Blake Lively’s daughter, James). As anyone who has ever tried to put together, well, anything from Ikea knows, it’s no small feat.

The Globe and Mail (Canada)
Ikea Foundation building easy-to-assemble refugee shelters
LEAH MCLAREN
Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Thursday, Nov. 19, 2015 12:12PM EST
Last updated Thursday, Nov. 19, 2015 12:12PM EST
(...)
There is no place more poignant than Ikea. It is the place – and brand – we find ourselves drawn to, inevitably, when our lives are in transition. From that first trip to furnish student digs with white laminate bookshelves to fulfilling the decor needs of cohabitation, marriage, pregnancy, breakup and empty-nest downsizing, middle-class Westerners return to the Swedish mecca of cheap, simple design when our lives are at their most liminal. Forget the old adage that Ikea is “Swedish for divorce” – Ikea is Swedish for life change.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityWork/Businesses • Thursday, November 19, 2015 • Permalink