polka dots

Mark Odegard markodegard at HOTMAIL.COM
Mon May 28 02:30:04 UTC 2001

>From: "Douglas G. Wilson"

>>Ideas, anyone?
>Several ... of dubious value ....
>(6) < Polska dot [or so] ... from some pattern (perhaps in embroidery)
>considered characteristic of Poland.

Polka = a female Pole (at least in the Czech language).

The polka along with the polanaise are considered particularly Polish dance
forms (think of Deborah Kerr and Yul Brenner doing Eugene Onegin in

I've wondered about this one too. There are phonological reasons why
poke-a-dot and the polka may be related, or unrelated, at least in English,
be it BrE or AmE.

One area of research would be to document the first appearance of printed
polka-dot fabric. This would be rather late, I think, as the precision
necessary to get the precise circles was probably, for its day, high-tech.

A speculation: could it be related to 'pock'?
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