Etymology
Advertisement
polka (n.)

kind of lively round-dance which originated in Bohemia, 1844, from French polka, German Polka, probably from Czech polka, the dance, literally "Polish woman" (Polish Polka), fem. of Polak "a Pole" (see Pole). The word might also be an alteration of Czech pulka "half," for the half-steps of Bohemian peasant dances. Or it could be a merger of the two. The dance was in vogue first in Prague, 1835; it reached London by the spring of 1842.

Vous n'en êtes encore qu'au galop, vieil arriéré, et nous en sommes à la polka! Oui, c'est la polka que nous avons dansée à ce fameux bal Valentino. Vous demandez ce que c'est que la polka, homme de l année dernière! La contredanse a vécu; le galop, rococo; la valse à deux temps, dans le troisième dessous; il n'y a plus que la polka, la sublime, l'enivrante polka, dont les salons raffolent, que les femmes de la haute, les banquiéres les plus cossues et les comtesses les plus choenosophoses étudient jour et nuit. ["La France Dramatique," Paris, 1841]

As a verb by 1846 (polk also was tried).

Related entries & more 
Advertisement
do-si-do 

also do-se-do, common step in square-, contra-, polka-dancing, etc., 1929, from French dos-à-dos "back to back" (see dossier).

Related entries & more 
schottische (n.)

round dance resembling a polka, 1849, from German Schottische, from schottische (tanz) "Scottish (dance)," from Schotte "a native of Scotland," from Old High German Scotto, from Late Latin Scottus (see Scot). The pronunciation is French. Also the music for such a dance.

Related entries & more