The name is from a Medieval Italian diminutive form of either Elisabetta or Benedetta. One of its earliest attestations is that of Bettina d’Andrea (d.1335) a famous Italian legal scholar of Medieval Italy.
The name was later introduced to Germany via Elisabeth Catharina Ludovica Magdalena Brentano (1785-1859), a German countess of Italian descent who was a prolific writer, novelist and one of the pioneers of German romanticism, her pen name was Bettina von Arnim.
The name has also been used in Hungary, the English-speaking world, the Netherlands and Scandinavia. Currently, Betina is the 98th most popular female name in Brazil. Another German form is Bettine.