This blog is for everyone who uses words.

The ordinary-sized words are for everyone, but the big ones are especially for children.

Monday, 28 May 2012

Spot the frippet: polka.

Polka dots are, obviously, traditionally associated with that popular dance style...


Yep. They are. Sorry about that. The name polka dots seems to have been made up in the USA in the mid 1800s because the polka was a fashionable dance and it seemed a good way to off-load a lot of spotty fabric.

This extreme version of the polka dot:

Fabian Wegmann Bergtrikot.jpg

is the maillot de pois rouge, which is worn by the leader of the mountain section of the Tour de France. Hideous, isn't it.

There are a couple of popular songs featuring polka dots by, firstly, Paul Vance and Lee Pockriss, and, secondly by Jimmy van Heusen and Johnny Burke, but it's much too early in the day to listen to them.

Slightly more restful, if not much more tasteful, is the Madagascan Hypoestes phyllostchya, the polka dot plant.

If all else fails, you could always learn to polka yourself:

and if you get really very expert you might even end up being able, most strangely, to polka in triple time, as in this polka mazurka:

Happy spotting!

Spot the frippet: polka. This word came to us from French. The French got it from the Czech pulka, which means half-step, from pul, which means half.

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