ETYM Pol. Polka a Polish woman: cf. French and German polka.
1. A Bohemian dance with 3 steps and a hop in fast time.
2. Music performed for dancing the polka.
Bohemian dance in quick duple time (2/4). Originating in the 19th century, it became popular throughout Europe. The basic step is a hop followed by three short steps. The polka spread with German immigrants to the us, becoming a style of Texas country music. It was also used by European composers Smetana (in The Bartered Bride 1866, Bohemian Dances 1878), Dvorák, and others.