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Gender: F Meaning of Wilhelmina: "resolute protection" Origin of Wilhelmina: German, feminine variation of Wilhelm

Popularity: this week.

Wilhelmina was long burdened with the Old Dutch cleanser image of thick blond braids and clunky wooden clogs, but that started to be changed somewhat by the dynamic Vanessa Williams character on Ugly Betty, and even further by the choice of Wilhelmina by ace baby namers Natalie and Taylor Hanson. For the less adventurous, Willa is, for now, still a more user-friendly female equivalent of William.

Wilhelmina was a lot more commonly heard in the U.S. at one time: it was as high as Number 215 in the 1880s, but has been off the list completely since 1955.

Queen Wilhelmina reigned in the Netherlands for most of the early twentieth century, becoming a heroic figure during the two World Wars. The name got an infusion of glamour via Wilhelmina Cooper, the Dutch-born model who established the top Wilhelmina Model Agency in 1967. Wilhelmina "Willie" Scott was the name of the Kate Capshaw character in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.

To enliven her image, Wilhelmina has a plethora of nicknames: Mina, Minna, Minnie, Billie, and Willa. Wilma.

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Famous People Named Wilhelmina

Wilhelmina Cooper, Dutch-born American model
Wilhelmina Jane Hanson, daughter of singer Taylor Hanson

Pop Culture References for the Name Wilhelmina

Wilhelmina Slater - played by Vanessa Williams in ABC's 'Ugly Betty'
Wilhelmina is a modeling agency in New York City.
Wilhelmina is Shirley Feeney's middle name from the classic US show 'Laverne & Shirley'.
Wilhelmina "Mina" Harker -- character from Bram Stoker's Dracula
Wilhelmina Grubbly-Plank, frequent substitute for Hagrid in Harry Potter
Wilhelmina/Wilma "Will" the Guardian of Quintessence in "W.I.T.C.H", a comic book series and animated series
Miss Wilhelmina "Helma" Zukas is Pacific Northwest mystery writer Jo Dereske's classic librarian sleuth (with lavender silk lingerie).