Dots... Why are they called polka dots?
A polka dot is a pattern consisting of many dots or circular spots.
The polka dot pattern was most commonly used on fabrics (clothing and home textiles) in the 19th and 20th centuries, and consisted of equally spaced dots of the same size and color. Now, these patterns can be found as a random arrangement of multicolored dots of different sizes, and they appear on any product that can be manufactured; not only fabric.
Black on white equally spaced polka dots are a classic—and classy—pattern that has been used for a very long time on clothing, and is still trendy now.
But where does the name polka dots come from?
The polka is a folk dance.
The polka is a simple, lively, Central European dance that is popular throughout Europe and the Americas. It originated in the middle of the 19th century in the Czech lands and is still common in many countries in Eastern and Central Europe. Versions are also found in the Nordic countries, the British Isles, The United States, and Latin America, especially Mexico. The name comes from the Czech word půlka—literally, little half—a reference to the short half-steps featured in the dance. It has then been influenced by the similarity to the Czech word polka, meaning Polish woman. This is why the Polka's origin is sometimes mistakenly attributed to Poland.
"Polka dots," a marketing strategy!
Throughout the polka fever, from about 1840 to 1890, manufacturers cashed in on the public's polka-mania by naming a dizzying range of products after the dance. Polka hats, polka jackets, polka gauze, polka curtain ties, and of course, polka-dotted fabrics, had nothing to do with the dance, but sold like hotcakes for a few years. Only the polka dot fabric pattern remained popular, and the name has been left intact over the years.
I am not sure where this word comes from or who initially wrote it this way. Pokidots is commonly used by tweens and teenagers; a random teenager must have typed it somewhere on the internet, not knowing its correct spelling, and made it popular... Pokidots does not exist in dictionaries, but everyone who knows what polka dots are usually understands the word pokidots.
I (obviously) love polka dots and I love how just changing their size and color in a pattern can give a whole new look to it. Polka dots have been popular for a very long time, in many different ways and looks, and I don't think they will ever run out of style. ☮
1. Marilyn Monroe looking glamorous in a white dress with red polka dots (http://thisismarilyn.com) 2. A polka dot pattern is usually a repeat of dots that are the same size and color (http://pandoralyn.tumblr.com) 3. A polka dotted dress in a more 'country' look (http://loveforfashion.tumblr.com) 4. Who said polka dots were for women only? (http://makeyeah.com) 5. Ooh La La! lipglosses, from the cosmetic collection that I have designed for Forecast Brands Inc. in Montreal. 6. Polka dot patterns of the same color, in different sizes: A very stylish mix! (Photo: Peter Lindbergh) 7. Dinnerware with polka dots of different colors and sizes. Bright and refreshing (http://brylanehome.com) 8. Polka dots look very pretty as accent patterns in a home, along with different patterns. 9. Beautiful polka dotted umbrella.