General Question

josie's avatar

Why do they call them "polka dots"?

Asked by josie (30931points) September 6th, 2010

I am talking about the circles that appear an clothing, often skirts and ties. What is the relationship between circles and the polka? Or is there a relationship? How did this come to be?

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7 Answers

muppetish's avatar

According to Wikipedia:

“An early recorded use of the term “polka dot” is in 1873 in Godey’s magazine, Volumes 86–87, Page 389. The pattern is named for the dance of the same name, but there is no conceptual connection linking the pattern to the dance. Instead, the name was settled upon because of the dance’s popularity at the time the pattern became fashionable. Many contemporary products and fashions also adopted the name.”

Thanks for asking this. I never actually stopped to think about it, but it is pretty odd. There’s nothing particularly polka-like about polka dots to me.

rebbel's avatar

In addition to @muppetish‘s answer, here is a link to Wordoriginsdotorg.
“The word polka itself is of certain origin. To possibilities are commonly proffered. It could come from the Czech pulka, or half-step, pul meaning half. Or, it could be a blend of polonaise and mazurka.”

YARNLADY's avatar

The dance known as Polka was associated with the clothing worn, dots. The two became synonymous.

Nicole8's avatar

Polka dots were first called polka dots because they first became fashionable in the 19th century, and Polka music was also popular at this time, the fashion statement was often seen on young people doing the polka, hence they were named after this form of music.

Response moderated (Off-Topic)
Cdog95's avatar

I would ask if I were you

Response moderated (Unhelpful)

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