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Surname Gilberto - Meaning and Origin

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Gilberto: What does the surname Gilberto mean?

The last name Gilberto is commonly seen in Spanish-speaking countries such as Mexico, Venezuela, Guatemala, and Argentina. It is thought to derive from two nouns in the Latin language, "Gelber" meaning "golden" and "bertus" meaning "to shine" or "to glitter." This suggests the name was traditionally given to someone of great wealth and prestige.

The name can also be associated with the Spanish verb "gobernar," which translates to "to govern" suggesting someone who was powerful or influential. As a unisex name, Gilberto is derived from the Germanic elements “gild” meaning “honor or value” and “beraht” meaning “bright or shining.”

Sometimes, Gilberto is seen in the variant form of Gilbertus, a Latinized version of the German name, Giselbert. It was commonly used in the Middle Ages to refer to “a pledge or sharpened spear”, referring to a person of strength and valor who was willing to fight for what is right.

In today’s modern day world, Gilberto is still used as a first name as well as a surname. The namesake evokes notions of prestige and strength, traits that many striving parents grant to their children through the name.

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Gilberto: Where does the name Gilberto come from?

The last name Gilberto is most common in Portugal, Brazil, and other Latin American countries. It is also among the most common surnames in Italy. Gilberto can be seen almost everywhere throughout the Iberian Peninsula, South America, Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean.

In Brazil, the surname Gilberto is the 81st most frequent family name among the country's inhabitants. In Portugal, it is the 16th most usual surname. More than 16,500 entities in this country bear this last name. In Mexico, about 1,600 bearers are part of the surname.

Records of Gilberto individuals date back to places like Milan, Italy, or Cordoba and Seville of Spain at the sixteenth century. Research also indicates that there are records of it in South American countries such as Colombia, Peru, Argentina and even Uruguay.

In Argentina, is one of the 10 most frequent surnames. In Cape Verde it is the 5th most common, while in Bolivia, is the 21st most frequent surname. It is also widespread in South American countries like Paraguay, Ecuador, Chile, Suriname, and Guyana.

Regarding Europe, Gilberto is a frequent surname in Italy, especially in the north, northeast and central regions. It is also frequent in many parts of Portugal, such as its capital city, Lisbon. In France it is not a common surname but there is a small population of individuals with this Hispanic surname.

The surname Gilberto reflects the Latin language's influence in these countries. Gilberto is actually a combination of two Latin words: “Gils” which means “pledge” and “Berht” which means “shiny”. Consequently, Gilberto translates into “shiny pledge”.

Variations of the surname Gilberto

The surname Gilberto has three common variants, all derived from the same origin, that is the Latin personal name "Gildo":

1) Gilberto - This is the most common spelling of this surname. It is derived from the Latin personal name "Gildo," which was a shortened form of the personal name "Gildhard," the latter being composed of the elements "gilda" (hostage) and "hard" (brave).

2) Gilburt - This variant of the surname Gilberto is derived from the Old German personal name "Gildo," itself derived from the Latin personal name "Gildo."

3) Gilbort - This variant of the surname Gilberto is derived from the French personal name "Gilbert," itself derived from the Latin personal name "Gildhard," the latter being composed of the elements "gilda" (hostage) and "hard" (brave).

Other variants of Gilberto include Gilbaert, Gildbert, Gilburd, Gilborton, Giliberti, and Gilo. All of these surnames are related, deriving from the Latin personal name "Gildo" or its Old German and French variants.

In addition, there are many surnames sharing the same origin, such as Gilbeaux, Gilbey, Gilbreath, Gilcrease, Gil Dennis, Gilfillan, Gilgun, Gilham, Gilkerson, Gillis, Gillette, and Gilman. These surnames likely arose as variants of the original surname Gilberto or as Anglicized versions of the original surname.

Famous people with the name Gilberto

  • Astrud Gilberto: A Brazilian singer who gained worldwide fame for her samba and bossa nova music. She is best known for her rendition of the jazz standard "The Girl from Ipanema".
  • João Gilberto: A Brazilian singer and guitarist who has been credited with helping to create the musical genre of bossa nova. He is considered one of Brazil's primary musical innovators and a major influence on the Bossa Nova movement.
  • Bebel Gilberto: A musician and singer who is the daughter of Bossa Nova legend João Gilberto and singer Miúcha. She is noted for her fusion of bossa nova with electronic dance music.
  • Caetano Veloso: A Brazilian singer, songwriter and poet who founded the musical movement Tropicalismo with longtime collaborator Gilberto Gil. He is considered one of the most influential artists of modern Brazilian music.
  • Gilberto Gil: A Brazilian singer, guitarist and songwriter, and one of the founders of the musical movement Tropicalismo. He has worked in many different genres and has released over 60 albums which have sold millions of copies.
  • Bebel Gilberto: A Brazilian singer and songwriter, the daughter of João Gilberto and singer Miúcha. Her musical style mixes bossa nova, electronica, and jazz, and she has released four studio albums.
  • Roberta Flack: An American singer-songwriter who is best known for her hit single "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" and the duet "Killing Me Softly with His Song" with Gilberto Gil.
  • Marcos Gilberto: A gamers and a Twitch live streamer who gained fame playing the game Minecraft. He is also a content creator on Youtube and Instagram.
  • Alexandre Gilberto: A Brazilian professional footballer who currently plays as a right back for Saudi Arabian side Al-Nassr. He has also represented his country at international level, having earned three caps in the early days of his career.

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