The building blocks known as Legos have long been beloved toys. But did you know the name actually has a strategic meaning behind it?
Lego is a combination of two Danish words: “leg godt,” meaning “play well,” according to the company’s site.
“It’s our name and it’s our ideal,” the site reads.
The Lego Group founder Ole Kirk Kristiansen started a business building “stepladders, ironing boards, stools and wooden tools” in 1932 in Billund, Denmark, according to the company. Two years later, the carpenter chose the name “Lego” for his company.
The company created “automatic binding bricks,” a predecessor to the building bricks we know and love, in the late 1940s. But it wasn’t until 1958 that Lego patented its “stud-and-tube coupling system,” making the building blocks more stable.
Last year marked the first time in 13 years that the company saw a decline in sales. The Financial Times suggested the continuous decline could be a result of the rise in popularity of digital devices for kids as well as the collapse of retailers like Toys R Us.
The origin story of the company’s name won’t save you from the pain of accidentally stepping on your kid’s Legos, but it might come in handy at your next trivia night.