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Design

Ikea, Thonet, Kilim, Terrazzo, and A Bunch of Other Design Words You May Be Mispronouncing (Yes, Even IKEA!)

Have you ever taught yourself something only to realize that you like, kinda sorta taught yourself the wrong thing? Here’s my example: when I was 24 and working at Apple, I discovered through an errant typo that the shift key could be used to capitalize letters. I had taught myself how to type as a kid and being a child, I took things very literally. I saw the caps lock key, decided that you needed to use it to capitalize a letter and then hit it again to return to lowercase, and figured that this was how everyone also typed. After my discovery almost 20 years later, I still remember walking around the Cupertino office proclaiming “YOU CAN USE SHIFT TO CAPITALIZE” while everyone was like, “yeah, duh, wow, are you the dumbest person to ever work here???”

So to that end, I realized that this thought process has proliferated my life a little bit – when I’m reading design terms, I use context clues or I sound it out and I just assume that it’s right, and it turns out that I am oftentimes VERY, VERY WRONG. Today, I wanted to walk you through some very commonly mispronounced words so you can really dazzle folks with all your knowledge.

But before we really dive in, I just want to clarify that this isn’t written to shame anyone! I’m generally of the opinion that if you’re trying your best and folks can understand what you’re saying, it’s all good – perfect pronunciation or not. That said, I’ve tried MY best to break words down for ya, but keep in mind that I’m not a dialectic expert and that some things are best pronounced with a little accent or affect and some confidence. In any case, maybe remembering the Swedish pronunciation of “Ikea” or the correct way to say “Thonet” will come in handy at a bar trivia night one day. WE COMMENCE!

Kilim

design by studio diy | photos by jeff mindell

What It Is: A handwoven, pile-less, flat-woven rug from Turkey or the surrounding area.
How to Actually Pronounce It: Key-leem, with the main focus on the second syllable – the “key” sound is pretty quick.
How I Used To Pronounce It Incorrectly: Kill-‘im, like I was some sort of disaffected mob boss. OOPS.

Zellige

photo by tessa neustadt | from: our modern english country kitchen

What It Is: A glossy Moroccan ceramic tile with a handmade, perfectly-imperfect charm.
How to Actually Pronounce It: Zil-eehj, with the second syllable pronounced like “legion.”
How I Used To Pronounce It Incorrectly: Uh, turns out that Zelle-lig is not a thing, but thank you to everyone who listened politely and just used their context clues to figure out what I was talking about.

Bergere

What It Is: An upholstered 18th century armchair with a wooden frame.
How to Actually Pronounce It: Brr-zhehr, like you’re cold AND about do to some professional zhushing. (“Me? I’m not a stylist. I’m a full-time zhehr.” – you, maybe, if you wanted to take some creative liberties with job titles.)
How I Used To Pronounce It Incorrectly: Even a broken clock is right twice a day! I did know this one. (That said, the bar is low.)

Serge Mouille

photo by tessa neustadt | from: brady’s bedroom makeover

What It Is: A French industrial designer most famous for his mid-century insect-inspired lighting.
How to Actually Pronounce It: Sairge Moo-yay – with an “air” sound in the first name and said with the last name said with an air of confidence.
How I Used To Pronounce It Incorrectly: Ser-jay Mool-yay, which, upon writing it out, makes me feel SO AMERICAN that it hurts a little bit. I’M SO SORRY, I TOOK LATIN IN HIGH SCHOOL.
A Side Note: I have been told by two native French speakers that even they can disagree on the pronunciation of this one, so…this is our consensus for now, but I’d love to hear any feedback!

Chaise Longue

photo by sara ligorria-tramp | from: living room update – again -our new sofa, my dream floral chaise, and the pop of red i always wanted in my life

What It Is: A chair with a lengthened seat used for reclining.
How to Actually Pronounce It: Chez lawng, like “pez” and “long.”
How I Used To Pronounce It Incorrectly: Hello, reporting live from the “chase lounge” convention, where it appears that ::checks notes:: everyone has said this at least once.

Etagere

photo by sara ligorria-tramp | from: in defense of the comfy sectional

What It Is: I know that you’re thinking of a really specific piece of furniture – you know, like a decorative bookcase – but technically, an etagere is any piece of furniture with open shelves for displaying objects.
How to Actually Pronounce It: Eh-tuh-zhair, and it rhymes with “chair.”
How I Used To Pronounce It Incorrectly: Et-a-gere. But like, as “gere” as in Richard Gere. It’s been tough over here.

Pied-a-Terre

design by jackie kai ellis | via apartment therapy

What It Is: A small apartment or house kept for occasional use.
How to Actually Pronounce It: Pea-ay-duh-tear, which I promise sounds better than it looks once you say it out loud.
How I Used To Pronounce It Incorrectly: Despite my horrifying American accent that I’ve made very clear over the last few examples, I actually also knew this one! NBD.

Ikat

design by jacquetta wheeler | photo by isabel parra| via architectural digest

What It Is: A fabric made using an Indonesian decorative technique where threads have been tie-dyed before weaving.
How to Actually Pronounce It: EE-kaht, so basically the hard “e” sound from “bee” combined with a softer version of “cot.”
How I Used To Pronounce It Incorrectly: EYE-CAT. To be honest, I still read “eye-cat” every time but I do now know how to say it out loud when I talk to others.

Objet

design by studio prineas | photo by chris warnes | via yellowtrace

What It Is: A decorative object meant to be exhibited. (EHD calls these “smalls” in our neck of the woods.)
How to Actually Pronounce It: Uhb-jay, like the first syllable of “obsidian” meets “jay.”
How I Used To Pronounce It Incorrectly: Ob-jet, but like…the first syllable of “obstetrician” meets “jet.” Wrong and strong.

Toile

photo by tessa neustadt | via eclectric traditional bedroom reveal

What It Is: While “toile” technically means “fabric,” it’s evolved to encapsulate a design aesthetic depicting pastoral scenes, floral arrangements, or other nature-inspired images.
How to Actually Pronounce It: Twaal, like ball.
How I Used To Pronounce It Incorrectly: I do need to pepper in a few easier ones – just for my own ego – so you don’t think I’m a total lost cause.

Rattan

photo by sara ligorria-tramp | from: a boho ’70s inspired bedroom with opalhouse by target

What It Is: The thin, pliable stems from a palm plant used for furniture and wickerwork.
How to Actually Pronounce It: Ruh-tan. I still remember seeing a video of Nate Berkus pronouncing this word and my jaw DROPPED.
How I Used To Pronounce It Incorrectly: Rat-in, as in “there’s a rat in the middle of the sidewalk.” OH GOSH. Someone else please commiserate with me, I can’t be the only one who thought it was said this way!!!

Sisal

photo by sara ligorria-tramp | from: velinda’s first freelance client reveal: molding the builder-grade budget + where they saved & splurged

What It Is: A Mexican agave with huge leaves that’s cultivated for fiber production and used for ropes, mats, and rugs.
How to Actually Pronounce It: Sigh-sul, as in “sigh” and “sulk.”
How I Used To Pronounce It Incorrectly: Uh, well up until writing this post, I thought it was pronounced as see-sal or sis-all so…cheers to being a perennial learner, I guess.

Chinoiserie

design by gunnar larson | photo by cheyenne ellis | via domino

What It Is: An western interpretation of Chinese or east Asian motifs in furniture, decor, or wallpaper.
How to Actually Pronounce It: Sheen-wah-zuh-ree – for what it’s worth, once you get through the “sheen,” the rest feels easy breezy.
How I Used To Pronounce It Incorrectly: Chee-noise-air-ee. I apologize for my crimes against the French language.

Ikea

photo by keyanna bowen | from: blue walls be gone! key’s totally transformed office reveal – maybe the most dramatic before & after ever

What It Is: Everyone’s favorite meatball retailer (I guess they sell some other stuff, too).
How to Actually Pronounce It: Ee-kay-uh, which is truly mindblowing.
How I Used To Pronounce It Incorrectly: I LOVE this example because enough people in the English-speaking world just started saying eye-key-uh that a whole brand was like, “well, sure, I guess we can roll with that.” Apparently different pronunciations of the name are run in commercials in different parts of the world, too.

Hygge

via my scandinavian home

What It Is: A Danish word referring to cozy, comfortable design that creates a feeling of contentment.
How to Actually Pronounce It: Hue-guh (sometimes thinking “hyoo” can also help!).
How I Used To Pronounce It Incorrectly: Hi-ghee, like a friendly greeting for a butter substitute. (TBH I still read “hi-ghee” every time I see the word written online.)

Trompe L’oeil

design by elvira solana | photo by casa josephine

What It Is: A painting intended to create the illusion of a three-dimensional object.
How to Actually Pronounce It: Tromp loy
How I Used To Pronounce It Incorrectly: I had a very strict and cool European history teacher in high school who also taught art history, and by some miracle, I did retain this information.

Hans Wegner

photo by kelly merchant | from: a greenhouse makeover with ‘the frame’ + get the look

What It Is: The Danish designer who brought us the iconic wishbone chair, the Flag Halyard chair (as seen above), the Papa Bear chair, the Circle chair, the shell chair, and more.
How to Actually Pronounce It: Hans Veg-ner, but more like “hands” (vs. like, uh, Han Solo, or Kathryn Hahn, depending on your entertainment taste).
How I Used To Pronounce It Incorrectly: Hahns Weg-ner. A rookie mistake for any vintage furniture lover!
A Note: Apparently inside Denmark, the folks who still manufacture Wegner products say “Vee-ner,” but they use “Veg-ner” abroad. FASCINATING.

Bauhaus

Emily Henderson Griffith Park Traditonal Modern Italian Sunroom Reveal 2
photo by tessa neustadt | from: griffith park sunroom reveal + get the look

What It Is: An early 20th-century design style with a focus on streamlined design, simple and geometric shapes, basic color schemes, and industrial materials.
How to Actually Pronounce It: Bow-house, but it rhymes with “wow” (or as in Lil’ Bow Wow, since I’ve entered the “extremely esoteric entertainment descriptions” part of the post).
How I Used To Pronounce It Incorrectly: A lifelong obsession with music means that I locked this one down early. Bless.

Parquet

design by workstead | photo by jeff holt | via architectural digest

What It Is: Wooden flooring arranged in a geometric pattern.
How to Actually Pronounce It: Par-kay, as if you’re on the phone trying to say “I’ve been circling for hours and I can’t find a park-ay!!! I got one!”
How I Used To Pronounce It Incorrectly: Par-ket. I do almost feel like I need to be at a barbecue and like, shooting off fireworks for how flat and stereotypical I am when it comes to pronouncing French words.

Thonet

photo by kelly merchant | from: a greenhouse makeover with ‘the frame’ + get the look

What It Is: The 19th-century cabinetmaker who invented bentwood furniture.
How to Actually Pronounce It: TOE-NET. WHAT!!! Incredible!!!
How I Used To Pronounce It Incorrectly: Tho-nay. Doesn’t everyone, though? I still can’t get “toe-net” through my thick skull, TBH.

Terrazzo

design by ginny macdonald | photo by sara ligorria-tramp

What It Is: Chips of marble or granite set in concrete, used for tiling, flooring, or slab surfaces.
How to Actually Pronounce It: Tuh-rat-soh, but with an “uhhhh” and a nice little mellifluous transition between the “rat” and “soh.”
How I Used To Pronounce It Incorrectly: Ter-ahs-oh, which has become VERY commonplace – even terrazzo retailers have adopted this pronunciation!

That’s it for me, but WHAT AM I MISSING? Anyone else struggle with a word or recently correct a pal on their pronunciation? Any surprises on the list? LET’S CHAT. xx

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Amy
1 month ago

Chaise lounge title is misspelled as longue 🙂 I think I’m sticking with Eye-key-uh!

Kelly
1 month ago
Reply to  Amy

Longue is actually the way it’s supposed to be spelled! Us Americans just switched it up to lounge because we’re bad at spelling, I think. haha. 🙂

Victoria
1 month ago
Reply to  Kelly

Yes, it’s spelled longue, as in long. Thinking of it as a long chair will also help pronunciation, as opposed to something you lounge on.
I’m also pretty sure the plural is chaises longue, rather than chaise longues, because it’s the chair and not the longness that is multiple; like attorneys general.

Sylvie
1 month ago
Reply to  Victoria

The plural is chaises longues.

Victoria
1 month ago
Reply to  Amy

Yes, it’s spelled longue, as in long. Thinking of it as a long chair will also help pronunciation, as opposed to something you lounge on.
I’m also pretty sure the plural is chaises longue, rather than chaise longues, because it’s the chair and not the longness that is multiple; like attorneys general.

Emily J
1 month ago
Reply to  Victoria

not-very-fun fact: in French, adjectives agree in gender and number with nouns. “chaise” is feminine, which is why the adjective is “longue” (feminine form). so the plural would modify the noun (“chaises”) AND the adjective (“longues”).

thank you for coming to my French 101 talk 😀

Victoria
1 month ago
Reply to  Emily J

Ooh thank you. Chaise longue is my spirit animal 😋

Alexandra Rose
1 month ago

Haha! This post is great. THANK YOU. I feel like I will probably be coming back to this one for reference…

Vera
1 month ago

Okay this was SO MUCH FUN and the perfect little quiz for this muggy afternoon! Thanks Caitlin! Always love your posts.

I am gonna shamelessly brag that I got them all right with three exceptions: Ikat, Ikea, and Thonet. (And I will almost certainly continue to mispronounce them!)
BUT I think my disproportionate success is because I speak French, which was key for the majority of these. Any other language I would have been clueless! Interesting that so many common design words are French ones that never got translated. What happened England? 😂

Also I need to thank you Caitlin for writing Hygge’s pronunciation as “hue-guh”. I’ve always struggled to pronounce it correctly but once I read “hue” it was like something clicked.

Thanks EHD! You guys are the best.

Emily J
1 month ago
Reply to  Vera

I have had to very consciously mold my pronunciation of Thonet.

but….I’ve been thinking it was tawn-et? instead of toe-net?

Vera
1 month ago

P.S. no need to post this comment but heads up there’s a little typo in Trompe l’œil – just need to switch the e and i 🙂

Vera
1 month ago

Haha true – it’s not after C!

Meredith
1 month ago

In the immortal words of one Jason Mendoza, “Oh, DIP.”
I had a few mind-benders in there. Sheepish member of the ‘kill-im’ club over here. And Toe-net?!?!?!?! WHAT? Highschool Spanish, you did not prepare me for the design world. Thank you for an enlightening and very charming post. I’ll be giggling gently at myself all day.

Vera
1 month ago

YES ❤️ What will Michael Schur give us next?!

Key
1 month ago

WELL THAT WAS HUMBLING….Wish there were audio snippets of how to pronounce each word because I’m sure i’m still saying some of these wrong even with the phonetic spelling lol

Teresa
1 month ago
Reply to  Key

The Forvo app and website have audio recordings of native speakers pronouncing an astonishing variety of words, including most of these

Julie S
1 month ago

Ha! Pretty pictures AND silly words. I do love the occasional lighthearted post. Lucky for me I took 8 years of French so I instinctively knew the majority of these… methinks perhaps a lot of home/furniture design has its roots in france?? My personal private in-my-head pronunciation of hygge is higgy. Gettin’ higgy with it, na na na na na na.

Vera
1 month ago
Reply to  Julie S

Lol Julie! Same re French and same re Hygge!

LB
1 month ago

Good post; a missed opportunity. If ever a post deserved a video produced by Brian.

Jill
1 month ago

I’m just here to say that I’m pleased you knew how to say Bauhaus because of the band.

Bauhaus.png
Shay
1 month ago

You can definitely be forgiven for IKEA since they pronounce it incorrectly in US stores as well. Drives my Swedish husband a little nuts.

Rachel S
1 month ago

Love this post! I’ve wondered about a couple of these before, particularly zellige.
I will say, though, that there’s no world in which “Mouille” is “mool-yay”. I’m not a native speaker of French but I was a French major in college and was fluent at that point. It’d be Moo-ee-ye, or thereabouts, or simply Moo-ee.
Double L is very rarely pronounced as L, it is almost always a Y sound in French.
I know you have a note there, but for real for real, it’s not mool-yay.

B
1 month ago
Reply to  Rachel S

Haha, mool-yay was the example the of the wrong pronunciation!

Rachel S
1 month ago
Reply to  B

Still and all, “moo yay” also is incorrect.

k sommers
1 month ago
Reply to  Rachel S

exactement–par example: “Ratatouille”!!

Adi
1 month ago

Hi, just wanted to point out that the Bauhaus was a school, not a style.

Kelly
1 month ago
Reply to  Adi

Counterpoint – it’s definitely both. Mies van der Rohe, Le Corbusier, Marcel Breuer etc. are definitely Bauhus style. Plus, it’s a category of its own on Chairish, so clearly a little shoppable!

Elaine
1 month ago
Reply to  Kelly

Breuer and Mies were Bauhäusler – Breuer was a student and taught in the Bauhaus, Mies was a Director. I think Corbusier worked with the founder of one Bauhaus when he was younger. So they’re of the school, rather than of the style….to counter a counterpoint! 😁

Char
1 month ago

Matelassé is a fun one

Rachel
1 month ago

This was fun! But I think IKEA here have (Australia) leaned into it – they definitely pronounce it EYE-KEY-A on the IKEA TV ads we sometimes get!

Corinne
1 month ago
Reply to  Rachel

Another Australian here and have always said ‘eye’. I’ve been living in Malaysia for a few years and it is pronounced ‘ee’. I thought is was an Asian pronunciation thing, but now my mind is blown!

Rusty
1 month ago
Reply to  Rachel

Yes! The Aussie TV ads for IKEA say eye-key-ah.
Wot’s with that?!

Briana
1 month ago

I NEED to know how to pronounce tadelakt.

Emma
1 month ago
Reply to  Briana

It’s pretty much pronounced how it’s spelled! There must be a bunch of tutorials on youtube – that might be a good place to hear it spoken aloud!

melbajo
1 month ago
Reply to  Briana

it’s like cadillac, but with a t!

Martha Moore
1 month ago

I LOVE this post! I’m a French teacher, and we just did a “house and furniture” unit in class. I may have to share this with my kids. 🙂 I knew the French ones but was definitely wrong on several others.

Karen
1 month ago

Love this post! I won’t retain any of it but loved it nonetheless 😆

AJ
1 month ago

Help on Henredon?!? Hen-ree-don? Hen-reh-don? Her-en-don? Eek!

W Strickland
1 month ago

This was so amusing to peruse and pronounce out loud like a language lesson! I learned quite a few new terms. What a fun post.

Teresa
1 month ago

I highly recommend the Forvo app and website for recordings of pronunciations by native speakers in a staggering number of languages

Andrea
1 month ago

I think the world can just vote that Thonet should not be pronounced Toe-Net. That’s just wrong.
I also vote to change stucco from Stuck-O to Stoo-koh. You’re welcome.

Emily J
1 month ago
Reply to  Andrea

is it tah-net? that’s how I thought is was….I had to look it up once because I could not figure out how to say it with the very minimal German I have.

Naomi
1 month ago
Reply to  Emily J

Thonet might’ve been German-Austrian (thank you wikipedia) but I would think Thonet the name is French and pronounced T’oh-nee’ (I have no clue how to write pronunciations… clearly) not Toh-net (and certainly not with the “th” which German’s don’t have in their language. Hmmm fascinating!

Angelika
1 month ago
Reply to  Naomi

Hi, Austrian and Thonet-lover here. It’s really toe-net, The founder – Michael Thonet – was a German, from Boppard upon Rhine. It’s entirely likely that the name has no French roots at all, but even if it had, it had already then been germanised in the Biedermeier aera.
Everyone here said then and says now: Toe-net 🙂

Suzanne
1 month ago
Reply to  Andrea

That’s one I actually pronounce correctly, so I’d rather not change it.

Heidi
1 month ago
Reply to  Andrea

I was taught it was Toe-NAY several decades ago.

JPC
1 month ago

There is a song in the Frozen Broadway musical where they sing Hygge. Sometimes I have to sing it to pronounce it correctly!

Emma
1 month ago

I worked with a flooring tradesman who pronounced it “ter-rasso” (to rhyme with ‘lasso’) in a Texas drawl. He had even traveled extensively in Italy and had a ton of experience in the craft, and I loved that he still didn’t pronounce it “correctly.”

Jessica Jenkins
1 month ago

As a fluent French speaker & Canadian, I wish you would have added foyer to this list! But French is quite tricky to pronounce for American English speakers and there is really more nuance to most of these pronunciations that is hard to describe but easier to hear when spoken. And you can roll those RRRRs on terrazzo if you’re feeling dramatic!

Emma
1 month ago

To be fair, pronouncing it “the American way” is also correct in English. But pretty much everyone outside of the US says it the other way. In my experience the different pronunciations are also regional within the US and it just depends on the context.

Kirsti
1 month ago

Glad to see terrazzo on this list! The mispronunciation on this has been killing me. Double z in Italian makes a “ts” sound. Helpful hint in remembering how to pronounce it: think pizza – you don’t say pissah, right?

But to note, terrazzo doesn’t have a hard a like in “rat.” It’s tuh-raht-soh.

Kirsti
1 month ago
Reply to  Kirsti

Hm. Or maybe not on the hard a? Maybe I’ve always
said it wrong on that bit 😜

Sandra
1 month ago

Ahahahah I love how it’s basically : please pronounce it the French way

Reanna
1 month ago

This post was So. Much. Fun! “Ser-jay Mool-yay” had me hollering. I can’t say I scored 100%, so thank you for setting me on the path to correct pronunciation.

Pam
1 month ago

This is so funny! Basically, all French words are hard to say for Americans, haha! I would also add that foyer is not “foi-er”, it’s “foi-ye” 🙂

Pam
1 month ago
Reply to  Pam

Just thought about this, and by “ye” I mean “yea”, as in, “yea, I get to eat some cake!”

Suzanne
1 month ago
Reply to  Pam

I have trouble with many of the French words, but foyer is one that I do pronounce correctly. I’m sure it’s however I first heard it. Makes all the difference.

Nora
1 month ago

THANK YOU CAITLIN!!!! I haven’t laughed this much in ages. I choked not once, not twice, but three times on my lunch. The Richard Gere one and the rat in the street had me crying with laughter. My husband has just arrived and he says he could hear me laughing from outside of the house. Again, thank you. You’re a marvellous writer, and there’s nothing quite as endearing as the ability to laugh at oneself.

Denise
1 month ago

That was fun!

Patty
1 month ago

You might want to replace ‘dialectic’ with dialect.

Emily J
1 month ago

French speaker here. (Not as my first language, but for many years.) I would say Serge Mouille as “moo-ey”, as in, “this cow is very moo-ey”

bh
1 month ago

No offense but maybe ask a native French speaker to check such a post before publishing? I am French and quite a few prononciations are just ..not French

SW
1 month ago

My little French heart is cringing at this! And as a linguistics major, these phonetics are just so wrong. But I’m glad to see an effort to at least try to pronounce this correctly. I second what someone else to have a French speaker double check these, as some are still not right.

Suzanne
1 month ago
Reply to  SW

I took a few linguistics classes, and I also thought about the phonetics being wrong, but there’s an attempt to make it easy for an American English speaker. I also think that some French sounds are hard to translate for English speakers.

Rusty
1 month ago

K, so this is weird … a day before I saw this post, I had a dream that there was an EHD post about what items were and what they were used for. No pronunciation though.
Na-noo-na-noo! 😅😂🤣
Things that make me go “Hhmmm!”

Suzanne
1 month ago

This is the best! I won’t go through which I had right and which wrong, but at least I did have a few. I think it really depends on how we are introduced to a word. My daughter and nephew were early and ferocious readers, and they’d use words sometimes, and I had no idea what they were saying. They’d learn new words in the books they were reading, but didn’t know the correct pronunciation. American English is all over the place because we have so many borrowed words and words from different origins. A word I’m curious how others pronounce is “herb”. Where I am in California, the “h” is definitely silent, but I used to watch Martha Stewart decades ago, and she always pronounced the “h”. Is this an East Coast – West Coast thing? I did take a phonetics class in college and California English does tend to have lazier vowels (I’m not sure that’s a technical term). Thank you, Caitlin, for teaching these pronunciations. Now let’s see if they stick.

Karen
1 month ago
Reply to  Suzanne

Nope. Bostonian here, we say erb

Suzanne
1 month ago
Reply to  Karen

Thanks, Karen. I guess it’s just Martha.

Kelly P
1 month ago
Reply to  Suzanne

As far as I’m aware, Americans typically say ‘erb’ and Brits pronounce the H for ‘herb’. I’m American living in the UK and surrounded by h pronouncers – it always sounds funny to me!

Sara Nilsson
1 month ago

As a Swede I had to comment, sorry not sorry. IKEA is more like this:

https://sv.howtopronounce.com/swedish/ikea

Ih-KE-ya. The first syllable is really short and hard, the KE is the central part. =)

Cecilia
1 month ago
Reply to  Sara Nilsson

As a fellow Swede, thank you! The “kay” part in Caitlin’s suggestion is really off. The “e” sound is much more similar to “deer”.

Roberta Davis
1 month ago

I learned most of these in design school. The biggest surprise was Thonet!

1 month ago

OK, this was a fun post. and i was mispronouncing at least half of these! Sadly even when buying my zellige tile 😉

Lindsay
1 month ago

LOL Caitlin you are a joy. Also, peep me copying each word into google to listen to how it’s said. #TheMoreYouKnow

Kate S
1 month ago

great post! also makes me think of design words in (american) english that are mispronunciations … the word “curtain” (as in drapery) is not pronounced “cur-un” and button is not pronounced “buh-un” but rather with a hard T. as in “cur-Tin” and “buTTon” . Not sure why so many designers mispronounce these. Just shows us that the design words of another language aren’t the only victims!

Tamanna
1 month ago

OMG thank you for serge mouille!! i can finally respond to all the compliments i get on my dining room light appropriately …

Samantha
1 month ago

I love everything Caitlin writes. Keep em coming!! I loled throughout. *rat in the middle of the sidewalk*

Cici Haus
1 month ago

This was very fun and humbling…ha!

Karen
1 month ago

Milo Baughman 🤦‍♀️
Correct pronunciation: My low Boff man
I said Meelo Bomm, which I still like 😊

A.B.
1 month ago

wrong and strong is my new favorite expression

Christa
1 month ago

Hahahah Latin in high school sounds cool. I took French so most of these are French pronunciations. I also first learned to shop in Ikea in Milan. Fun fact, if you call it Ee-kay-uh around your friends, they will think you are being a pretentious douche. Pretty much the same with pronouncing any French word with a true French accent, which is a shame because I got an A in high school French class. C’est la vie.

1 month ago

Being french, some of those are definitely not pronounced / written in phonetics correctly ^^’. Try Google Translate voice in French to compare.

“Twaal, like ball.” The end of Toile has nothing to do with the way “Ball” is pronounced for example.

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