Considered ultra debonair in the silent-movie era, Gilbert then went through a nerdy phase, a la Gilbert Gottfried. Now though, like Albert and Alfred and Walter and Frank, it could be in for a style revival.
Gilbert has been on the U.S. popularity list for centuries, reaching as high as Number 121 in the 1900s. The Normans introduced Gilbert to England, where it was common during the Middle Ages; it was the name of a 12th century English saint.
Gilberts have appeared in such books as Henry James's Portrait of a Lady, Anne of Green Gables and Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged, and on screen in "The Incredibles," and as embodied by the young Johnny Depp in "What's Eating Gilbert Grape?" The most famous portrait painter of George Washington was Gilbert Stuart.
Nickname Gil could come back along with Hal, but even more appealing is Gib or Gibby.