image I realize that Ikea gives some of their products strange names. At least, the names sound strange in English. In Swedish I'm sure that they sound perfectly normal. But you would think that somebody in the company would have realized that calling a children's work bench the 'FartFull' wasn't the most astute marketing move. Though kids will probably like the name. I'm pretty sure this isn't a joke because the product is right there on Ikea's website.


Posted on Fri Jan 07, 2005


I guess IKEA's "naming department" has missed out on this one. In Swedish, "fartfull" simply means "speedy", but you're right, Alex, they should have thought about the English meaning as well. Otherwise, for a Swedish speaker, IKEA's product names are a lot of fun to read! Descriptive, joyful and a bit childish/naive, in one word: typically Swedish 😊
Posted by Zoltan  on  Fri Jan 07, 2005  at  04:09 AM
I thought Farfel was the Nestle's Chocolate dog puppet character. I had a Farfel desk when I was a kid. Ikea you not. N-E-S-T-L-E-S, I sit at my Fartfull desk (Chawk-lit)
Posted by Hairy Houdini  on  Fri Jan 07, 2005  at  08:07 AM
So, Zoltan... being the cunning linguist that I am, is it correct to ASSume that if "Fart-full" meens "speedY" in Swedish, then "Fart" might mean "Speed"? That's an interesting word origin. I thought that the term was of onamotopeaic, myself, meaning it's derivation came from the sound of the object described, as in: "FFFaaaahhhhrrrtt"... "Eyew... that was gross-what shall we call that? I think it said 'Fart'". One of my nephews cracked one near me once, and the discharge clearly enunciated the word "BURT". We referred to gaseous expulsion from that day onward as "burts". My sister's family uses the term "quack", as in "Did you quack", for the same reason. It seems my niece "quacked". I guess boys Burt and girls Quack
Posted by Hairy Houdini  on  Fri Jan 07, 2005  at  08:17 AM
I'm pretty sure the Swedish word is more likely to be related to the German work "fahren," meaning to drive or ride. Your original guess was probably more likely... though it's hard to tell exactly where words like that come from.
Posted by Matt  on  Fri Jan 07, 2005  at  08:32 AM
Interesting that such common word "Gift" means "poison" in German.
Posted by Loxx  on  Fri Jan 07, 2005  at  09:42 AM
Matt, you're right, "fart" (noun) and "fara" (verb) in Swedish has the same Germanic origins as "Fahrt" (noun) and "fahren" (verb) in German. "Fart" and "Fahrt" mean "journey" or "ride" (on a vehicle, for example). In addition, "fart" in Swedish has also the meaning of "speed", which for the German version has only been kept when it's about ships, boats and other nautical contexts. Interestingly, while "fahren" is a very common German verb, the Swedish "fara" is very common in the north of Sweden but not in the south.
As far as IKEA's "fartfull" is concerned, I think they had some kind of word joke, because although Swedes would understand it, the more correct form of "speedy" would be "fartfylld". As you guessed, "full" and "fylld" are the English "full" and "filled", respectively.

Sorry for boring you 😊
/Zoltan, hobby-linguist
Posted by Zoltan  on  Fri Jan 07, 2005  at  09:47 AM
Oops, I forgot an "in mind" in one of my sentences: "I think they had some kind of word joke in mind" 😊
Posted by Zoltan  on  Fri Jan 07, 2005  at  09:49 AM
to Loxx:
Yes, "Gift" in German means "poison" in English. It might seem strange, but it's not. The explanation lies in the origins of both words. "Gift" as a noun comes from the verb "geben", to give. Actually, the German "Gift" used to mean "present" or "gift", just like in today's English. Today the Germans use "Geschenk" or "Gabe", from the verbs "schenken" (to make a present) and again, "geben" (to give).
The English "poison" has its origins in the Latin "potio", meaning "potion". As we can see, "geben" and "Gift" are two sides (positive and negative) of the same coin, just like "potion" and "poison". It all boils down to how a few drops of potion have healing effect while too much of it acts like a poison. In the same way, receiving a present is always nice, but too many presents also indebt you and make you feel bad. I have also heard of an Indian tribe who were offering a lot of presents to their enemies, so that they in turn would return even more presents. The tribe with the most presents to give would eventually prevail.
Posted by Zoltan  on  Fri Jan 07, 2005  at  10:16 AM
I can't believe they left out the standard disclaimer when selling a fartfull desk. "Farts not included."
Posted by Tom  on  Fri Jan 07, 2005  at  11:11 AM
maybe because farts are included
Posted by Nick  on  Fri Jan 07, 2005  at  01:54 PM
Since German and English (like Swedish and English, but I don't know much Swedish) are related languages, but not the same, lots of interlinguistic humor is possible.
For example, there is a town in southern Germany called "Rottenburg," which must be something of an obstacle to civic pride (the name is derived from "rot," which is German for "red").
Once in Germany I came across a group of friends who were sitting around a table drinking "Binding Bier." I asked them if they weren't worried about the effects on their digestive systems, but the Germans didn't get the joke, because "binding" doesn't have that meaning in German.
Posted by Big Gary C  on  Fri Jan 07, 2005  at  03:44 PM
Don't tell me they didn't buy you a Binding, Big Gary C.- Rottenburgers are some of the most hospitable hosts on Earth. Been there, done that. Summer of '82, as I recall. Munich's Oktoberfest of '83 was an event to remember, too. 42 of us tired soldiers just back from 60 days on Reforger'83 arrived at the fairgrounds by bus at 10AM local. At 7PM local, the bus left the parking lot, about a half-mile away, with 41 passengers. My section's Master Sergeant was left passed out under a highway overpass. He arrived back at camp via curteous Polizei escort about 3AM. No problem!
Posted by stork  on  Fri Jan 07, 2005  at  08:40 PM
Word meanings between languages are always interesting, e.g. German "hell" = English "light" or Russian "Bog" = American "God" (and American "bog" = English "toilet").
Posted by Carl Fink  on  Fri Jan 07, 2005  at  11:46 PM
Er, that is "English 'bog' = American 'toilet'".
Posted by Carl Fink  on  Fri Jan 07, 2005  at  11:47 PM

Posted by zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz  on  Sun Jan 09, 2005  at  03:49 AM
Yes, of course, I did drink a Binding (or 3), and I enjoyed it.
Posted by Big Gary  on  Sun Jan 09, 2005  at  07:32 PM
Big Gary - Then you know it's pronounced with a short 'I' sound. Binding, as in "been there". It's a German brewing family name. Good bier, though!
Posted by stork  on  Sun Jan 09, 2005  at  07:58 PM
This reminds me of the Japanese soft drink originally named "Calpis," presumably after a type of ancient Greek pitcher. For some mysterious reason, this is now marketed in English-speaking countries as "Calpico." (It has a nice tart lemon flavor. At least I hope it's lemon.)
Posted by Constantine Coutroulos  on  Fri Jan 14, 2005  at  10:23 PM
It reminds me of the german word Ausfahrt,which means exit in german,but sounds like Ass fart! :cheese:
Posted by Carmen  on  Thu Jan 20, 2005  at  08:14 PM
Actually, this isn't the first slip-up by IKEA. At some point they decided to make a small box and call it "Knep"... Swedish and Danish (i''m from denmark) are two languages very much alike. A Swede and a Dane could easily talk to eachother, so you'd think i might have SOME sort of clue as to what "Knep" means, but i don't! Not in swedish, anyway. However, in denmark "Knep" means "fuck"!
Posted by Eskil Jefsen  on  Sat Jan 22, 2005  at  08:21 AM
The link is broken now. I tried a search on the IKEA website and couldn't find anything related. Maybe they finally realized the mistake.
Posted by Razela  on  Sat Jan 22, 2005  at  11:03 PM
"Knep" means "trick" in Swedish. "Knepigt" = "tricky". Goes well to most IKEA stuff 😊 Except that it means "fuck" in Danish, which is what you exclaim when you find out that there's some part missing in the furniture box 😊
Posted by Zoltan  on  Tue Jan 25, 2005  at  01:57 PM

Posted by George W. Bush  on  Fri Feb 18, 2005  at  04:22 PM
I recently had a chat with my french teacher, and it turns out that here in Canada(eh), the Quebec french is slightly different from normal french. Let me give you an example. One of the many french words for "children", in Quebec means "testicles". 😊

ALso, the other day I was talking to my Bulgarian Step-Mother, who lives in South Africa.
When she first arrived she was very shocked to hear people saying Goi
Posted by Carmen  on  Thu Sep 29, 2005  at  10:38 PM
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