I have always liked the word, minion, so I decided to do a little investigating. According to the book, Wicked Words, here is a little something about my favourite word.
minion. A subordinate or follower, usually contemptuous. . . . The word has enjoyed much better meanings in the past. It comes from the French mignon, dainty, which is also responsible for the filet mignon steak. A minion originally -- going back to the early sixteenth century -- was a beloved object, as a lady-love or darling. In time, the term was transferred to paramours, mistresses, obsequious attendants and dependents at court, then to hussies, jades, and other servile creatures -- with the result that the original estimable sense has been almost entirely lost.
What a fun word to use, in its original sense, in a historical novel.