I found another good example of the American tendency to spelling pronunciations.
Compare the pronunciations given by the online MW for polka and polka dot
Polka dot: 'pO-k&-"dät
Polka: 'pOl-k&, 'pO-k&
The L-dropping pronunciation is the most 'natural' to my idiolect, but for the dance, my mind's ear says I need to pronounce the L.
Yeah, MW is right on when it does not give a variant for polka dot. I don't pronounce the L. I suspect 'polka dot' is more common than 'polka' alone.
I didn't realize 'polka' is Czech, the feminine of 'polak'. 'Polak' is considered a racist word in English, tho' it seems to be the usual everyday word in most European languages. Interesting.