Guilty pleasure baby name: Wilhelmina

Screen Shot 2015-08-13 at 4.33.53 pmSince I can’t access the west Australian online currently I’ll add another guilty pleasures post. Todays is Wilhelmina which I became introduced to by Wilhelmina “Mina” Wylie one of Australia’s first female olympians in 1912 she won a silver medal and was beaten by fellow Australian and friend Sarah “Fanny” Durack. While Wilhelmina has remained rare I will never quite understand why it has remained so rare with a great namesake and many many nicknames.

Wilhelmina is the Dutch, German and Polish form of Wilhelm meaning resolute protection. One of the best parts about Wilhelmina is the nicknames the obvious ones are: Billie, Willa and Mina. Some less obvious ones are: Lily, Mia, Willow, Minnie, Minka, Mimi, Ellie, Elma and Wilma (the last two I don’t really expect to see used) . My favourite of them is Minka but Willow, Mia, Ellie and Billie are all current favourites. In terms of popularity while on nameberry Wilhelmina makes the top 500 in reality it’s only a top 1,000 name in the Netherlands where it ranks 328 but in Australia it’s never ranked. In America it’s been off the charts since 1952 and it peaked at 240 in 1889. Last year 107 Wilhelmina’s were born the most since 1951. In the UK it’s rising but is only at 2312 with 11 born the highest amount of births since 1996.

While Wilhelmina remains a guilty pleasure to me (compared to my other favourites it’s too much) I have loved it since 2012 and would love to meet or even see a little Wilhelmina in birth notices . It’s a stunning classic name with so many lovely nicknames that help to ease the clunkiness of the name.


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