Meaning and Origin of: Gilbert

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First name origins & meanings:

  • German : Bright desire

Last name origin & meaning:

  • English (of Norman origin), French, and North German : from Giselbert, a Norman personal name composed of the Germanic elements gīsil ‘pledge’, ‘hostage’, ‘noble youth’ (see Giesel) + berht ‘bright’, ‘famous’. This personal name enjoyed considerable popularity in England during the Middle Ages, partly as a result of the fame of St. Gilbert of Sempringham (1085–1189), the founder of the only native English monastic order.
  • Jewish (Ashkenazic) : Americanized form of one or more like-sounding Jewish surnames.
  • The Devon family of Gilbert can be traced to Geoffrey Gilbert (died 1349), who represented Totnes in Parliament in 1326. His descendants included Sir Humphrey Gilbert (died 1583), who discovered Newfoundland.