Where does the term “Polka Dot” come from and What does Polka Dot mean?

Along about 1830 a lively dance originated in Bohemia which speedily took all of Europe and America by storm.

It was named Polka, meaning a Polish woman, just as Polak means a Polish man.

So popular did the dance become that tradesmen vied with one another to attach the name to jackets, hats, gauze, and even articles of food.

About 1880 or a year or so later an American dress fabric was introduced, ornamented with round, evenly spaced dots of uniform size which, following the prevailing custom, the maker called polka dots.

Actually, however, the textile bears no other connection whatsoever with the dance.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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