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No Drama Baby Names Keep Calm

March 23, 2020 Emma Waterhouse
no drama baby names

Following on from our weekend blog about baby names that bring hope, today we’re talking about names that feel calm, constant, reliable, unflappable… Even — or perhaps especially — in times of crisis.

These are the “no drama names”: ever-present, ever-appealing, but never too fashionable or too overexposed.

Julia: the Queen of Calm

The inspiration for this post comes from Berry @indymama over on our Forums:

“Nameberry describes the name Julia as ‘one of the least problematic choices a parent could make.’ What other names for girls fit this category? Names that are classic, not overused, have one primary spelling and pronunciation, and have a certain elegance.”

What with all the fear and uncertainty in the air right now, this concept really struck a chord with us. And as names that embody calmness, constancy and stability go, you’d be hard pressed to find a better example than Julia.

Currently ranking in the Top 100 girl names in at least 16 countries — including Austria, Canada, France, Ireland, Hungary and Poland — it feels seamlessly international. But at #93 in the US right now, it’s far from overused. In fact, Julia has never ranked either above the Top 25 or below the Top 150 in the US, making it a truly timeless choice.

We’ve chosen ten more girl names from @indymama’s thread that seem to perfectly embody the “no drama” style, plus ten ideas of our own for boys. What else would you add to this list?

No Drama Girl Names

Alice: It may sound sweeter than some of the other options here, but this traditional royal name has centuries of history and a great many illustrious namesakes behind it.

Audrey: A contemporary classic which has nevertheless ranked in the Top 300 since 1895 — as enduringly stylish as its most famous bearer, Audrey Hepburn.

Caroline: Charlotte’s less trendy sister has quietly ranked between the #50 and #100 mark for almost three decades now.

Eleanor: From Eleanor of Aquitaine to Eleanor Roosevelt, excellent namesakes abound for this pretty yet substantial choice.

Daphne: Soft and sweet, but there’s also a sleekness to Daphne which lends it a place on this list. At #383 in the US, it’s widely known, but never overused.

Lydia: It feels like an evergreen choice, but lovely Lydia has never ranked higher than #75 in the US — and that all the way back in 1883!

Miriam: With a historical popularity curve even smoother than Julia’s, Miriam has remained remarkably constant at between #150 and #350 ever since naming records began in 1880.

Rose: It may be popular now as a middle name, but Rose retains a simple, unexpected elegance in the first name spot.

Tessa: Sister names Tess and Teresa could both qualify too, but Tessa feels like the most versatile (and best-loved) form of the name in 2020. It has ranked in the Top 1000 in its own right since the late 1960s.

Victoria: Top 100 since 1981, but never in the Top 15, Victoria is a true classic with a powerful positive meaning to boot.

No Drama Boy Names

Adam: The oldest name in the book still doesn’t feel dated, and has ranked in the Top 100 ever since 1970 — but never higher than #18.

Edward: Royal Edward is neither as perennially popular as James, nor as fashionable as Henry, but it has to be one of the most solid, sturdy sounding names around.

Isaac: This Old Testament option still boasts a cool, current sound and has never ranked in the Top 25 in the US.

Miles: It may be on the rise right now, but at #98 in 2018, Miles still very much occupies the popularity “sweet spot”. It shares James’ simple, solid appeal, but with an added dash of jazz cool.

Nathaniel: Longer than the other names on the list, perhaps, but Nathaniel never feels fussy or florid.

Peter: Never in the Top 30, and never out of the Top 250, Peter has proven perennial appeal — but still manages to hold onto its gentle vintage charm.

Samuel: A true evergreen classic, Samuel has ranked in the Top 100 since records began in the late 19th century, but never in the Top 15.

Simon: Sweet and strong, Simon sits perfectly alongside so many popular boys’ names of the moment. So you might be surprised to hear that it’s been out of the Top 200 for well over a century!

Thomas: Timeless and traditional, but not overdone, Thomas has held fast at around the #50 mark for the past 15 years.

Vincent: This quietly distinguished choice never goes out of style. Its popularity has remained remarkably consistent at between #50 and #120 across the past century — a perfect underused classic.

What are your favorite no drama names for girls and boys? Which other names deserve a place on this list? Share your suggestions below!

About the author

Emma Waterhouse

Emma Waterhouse — better known as @katinka around these parts — joined the team in 2017, writing about everything from pregnancy and birth to unique baby names from fiction and fantasy. As Nameberry's head moderator, she also helps to keep our active Forums community ticking. A linguist by background, Emma speaks six languages and lives in England's smallest county with her husband and three young children. You can reach her at emma@nameberry.com.

View all of Emma Waterhouse's articles

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