Most likely a diminutive of Wilhelmina, sometimes thought to be a diminutive of Minerva. Wilhelmina originates in German language and means "stout protector" or "will to protect". It is a feminine form of Wilhelm or William, which ultimately derives from the Germanic name Willahelm. It is a typical name used in Europe for female royalty. Minnie was popularized as an animated character, Minnie Mouse by Walt Disney.