"folk" with an L

Eric Nielsen ericbarnak at GMAIL.COM
Fri Mar 19 14:18:34 UTC 2010

I believe the Polka (dance) is originally from Czechloslovakia--more
specifically Bohemia. What's very strange is that it is, I think, generally
assumed to be Polish in origin.

Two years ago, my young cousin, Magda, was visiting from Poland. People were
trying to impress her with their collections of Polka music, to which she
replied, "That's not even Polish."


On Thu, Mar 18, 2010 at 6:38 PM, Wilson Gray <hwgray at gmail.com> wrote:

> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Wilson Gray <hwgray at GMAIL.COM>
> Subject:      Re: "folk" with an L
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> FWIW, I've heard this cheer story for so long - ca. forty years - from so
> many different people from Norfolk that *I* believe it.
> OTOH, that there are Northern-white speakers who don't pronounce the "l" in
> the name of the dance is a real surprise!
> As for "polka-dot," I've never noticed anything special WRT the
> pronunciation of it. It goes without out saying that the word "polka," for
> all practical purposes, doesn't exist in BE. My wife points out that she
> just recently bought a new, po[l]ka-dot nightgown. "Polka-dot" is so rare
> i=
> n
> my speech that I have no idea how it sounds unmonitored: po[l]ka-dot and
> po[w]ka-dot both fall equally trippingly from the tongue.
> How can anyone tell what language "polka" is from, since the word is the
> same in nearly every Slavic language? Historical dancistics, I suppose. ;-)
> -Wilson

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