Gilbert is an English boys name of German origin, literally meaning 'bright pledge', deriving from the Germanic gisil, meaning 'pledge', and beraht, meaning 'bright'.
The name was introduced to England by the Normans, and it was a common during the Middle Ages. However, Gilbert is not very popular these days, and as of 2015 was only the 983rd most popular name in America. It has been slowly declining in popularity since its peak as the 90th most popular name in 1930, and thus it is often associated with older men. There was a notable dip in the popularity of the name in 2012, following the politically incorrect tweets of Gilbert Gottfried (until this event, known as the voice of the Aflac duck) in 2011. The name recovered quickly, but there was another sharp drop off in 2015, for no apparent reason.