Celebrity Names Blog

Toddlers & Tiaras: A Reality TV Show Filled with Names That "Sparkal"

Toddlers & Tiaras: A Reality TV Show Filled with Names That "Sparkal"

Toddlers & Tiaras has come under fire recently for an episode in which 3-year-old pageant princess named Paisley Dickey was outfitted as Julia Roberts’ prostitute character from the movie Pretty Woman, a look selected and put together by the girl's mother. If you’ve seen the show, you know that the parents of these aspiring beauty queens really want their little girls to stand out — and that extends to the names they give the kids, which are often rather creative.

Sure, the controversial TLC reality series has its share of girls named Isabella, Ava, Olivia, Chloe and Madison, which are all names on the Social Security Administration’s Top-10 most popular names list. However, there are also kids with less common names: 1) traditional names with untraditional spellings, 2) hybrid names 3) some infrequently heard place names and 4) names that are completely invented.

Two names that stick out so far during Season 4, so far, are Alaska and Brystol. Of course the names go hand in hand thanks to one-time vice presidential hopeful Sarah Palin, whose 2008 campaign introduced us to her daughter Bristol Palin and put a spotlight on the 49th state, where she was governor.  While the name Bristol appeared on the Top-1000 popular name list for the first time in 2009 and rose to No. 562 the next year, Brystol — with the "y" — has never appeared, nor has Alaska, which hasn't gotten as much attention as fellow state names Georgia, Montana, Dakota, Virginia and Indiana.

Other standout names from Season 4 of Toddlers & Tiaras include:
Madellie (sister of MaKenzie)

On seasons past of the show, the mini pageant queens had memorable names as well. Who can forget being introduced to the one and only Sparkal Queenz during Season 2? The girl's mother explained that she almost named her daughter Brooklyn Queenz -- what a tribute to New York City! -- but decided on Sparkal because she felt her daughter "sparkled." Sounds like the perfect name for our list of celebrities with aptonyms, right? 

Some more unforgettable names from seasons past of Toddlers:

It's funny that in a world in which there’s international outrage over Gwyneth Paltrow naming her daughter Apple (read our recent post: The Baby Name Apple: Why All The Hate?), there really hasn’t been much buzz, good or bad, over some of the names of the kids on Toddlers & Tiaras. However, it seems that in the controversial world of child beauty pageants, there are broader issues than names.

Tell Us What You Think: How do you feel about the names from Toddler & Tiaras? Too out-of-the-box for your taste? Or do you view them as standouts – creative and imaginative? Which names on the lists above do you think have potential to become mainstream? Which ones don’t you ever want to hear again?



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September 19, 2011 7:07 PM
By Allison (not verified)

Honestly, they're pretty bad. Sparkle is bad enough, but to blatantly misspell it is just unintelligent.
And the made up names...well...at least they're not Sparkal I guess.
Give me Madison and Chloe any day.

September 19, 2011 8:01 PM
By ADLH (not verified)

I like uncommon names but most of those are rediculous (spelling?).

I do not like normal names with messed up spellings like most of those are.

Either take a name the way it is or find a legit uncommon name. All my kids have names you've probably never heard but they are all legit and we didn't mess up the spelling of them.

September 19, 2011 8:18 PM
By Lane

Paisley Dickey? As in, Does this paisley dickey clash with my sequin cummerbund?

September 19, 2011 8:47 PM
By Sarah A (not verified)

@Lane - ROFL!

These names are really quite ridiculous. If you nust use a word "name" like Sparkle, at least spell it right. There must be some selection bias issues going on with Toddlers and Tiaras...

September 19, 2011 10:11 PM
By Erica (not verified)

I agree with all the above comments. I personally feel that "creative" spellings make the parents seem uneducated. In addition, it's setting the child up to be permanently frustrated with having to spell her name more than actually say it.

September 20, 2011 1:15 AM
By whistlerpotpie (not verified)

You missed Eden.

(hangs head in shame that I know this.)

September 20, 2011 12:07 PM
By Suzy

Thanks, Whistler! I actually didn't include Eden because it's pretty popular/mainstream already. It first appeared on the popular names list in 1986 and is currently No. 180.

It makes me think of Eden Riegel from All My Children and Young and the Restless. She was born in 1981 so her parents were a little ahead of the curve.

September 20, 2011 2:27 PM
By Zoe (not verified)

I know a girl named Roni, it's a Hebrew name that is relatively common in Israel (her family is Israeli). It means "song" or "joy." Also common are the forms Rona and the pet name Ronit.

That all being said, I somehow doubt that this Roni's mom knew that.

September 20, 2011 2:33 PM
By mk (not verified)

Honestly, I assumed many of them were stage names to hide the kids' real names. But I never watch the show, just occasionally come across mentions of it in articles or on TV.

Creative spellings make no sense to me. The name is still pronounced the same, and constantly having to spell your name when it needs to be written out gets old fast.

September 20, 2011 4:06 PM
By Top 10 name of the 70s (not verified)

Oh my goodness no - these mothers don't want to "hide" their princesses behind stage names - they are front and centre pushing them forward into the spotlight!

It is my guilty pleasure/secret shame to watch T&T. Here in Australia where "kreative" names are not so prevalent (and yet I could say, common!) - we have a ball with the endless bounty that T&T provides.

I so wanted the family of Braxton to have the surname "Hicks"....

September 20, 2011 5:16 PM
By Alena Kay (not verified)

I actually like names that are spelled creatively especially really common names it gives them a little more personality. The only exception to this is word names I don't really care for. I could see the reason in doing this is to distinguish the name from the word but if you wanted to do that why name your child after a word in the first place. I really like the name Serenity but spelled incorrectly I agree it sounds uneducated.

September 20, 2011 7:43 PM
By Riana (not verified)

In the Thursday Next book series there is a character named Braxton Hicks. (It's a guy)

September 20, 2011 8:30 PM
By Kayna's Mom (not verified)

Well, as the mother of two kids with "invented" names, (Kayna & Kyleb) I don't mind those at all - however.. the T&T moms seem to be on another planet entirely. Of the list above.. here is what I actually don't mind:

Saryniti (Serinity? or "Sary-Niti" - ugh)
Emerald (I kind of like this one.. i'm Irish. Also, lots of Emmerson's right now.. so this fits that mold IMO)
Baylen (Not sure if I like this on a girl, but I don' hate it. I know 3 Bailey's - so again.. not horrible)
Alessondra (I don't hate this - kind of pretty actually.. just spell it right!)
Madellie (sister of MaKenzie) OK....
Alaska - Why not Nebraska? Oh. 'Cause naming your kids after states seems silly.. that's why!
Brystol - Don't hate this, but hate the Palin connection
Kailia - As a mom of "invented" Kayna, I can't hate on this one.. kinda like it. :)

September 20, 2011 11:13 PM
By beth (not verified)

That is an awesome visual.

September 21, 2011 9:06 AM
By Erin (not verified)

I had a huge name crush on Alaska because it's such a beautiful place (I do not connect it to Palin, personally!), and when I saw it on T&T I was totally turned off. :(

September 21, 2011 2:28 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

As someone who has a differently spelled name I have no problem with that. It's not spelled "wrong." I spell it the way it's spelled on my birth certificate and I'm proud of the fact that if you search for me you're not going to get a hundred results (makes it easier to get in touch with old friends.)

Now that I've got that out of the way I don't care much for misspelled word names like "Sparkal" or "Faythe" because I feel it affects the meaning and I would never name my kid Sparkle anyway for the same reason I wouldn't name them Candy or Bubbles. (I think you know what I'm getting at.)

Out of these names I like:

Allesondra (it's a nice unique spin on Alexandra)

Madellie (assuming it's pronounced Mad-uh-lee it's downright adorable)

Bristol (I named a character this in 2004 long before I knew Bristol Palin existed.)

Kaila and Kaliegha (I really like these for unique spins on Kayla and Kaylie. Kaylie is way too common right now.)

Kiannah (It's cute and not that different from Tiana)

Those are the names that appeal to my eardrums and so I can see why the parents would choose them.

And no, I don't think names are Toddlers and Tiaras biggest issue. I refuse to watch the show because I think it's ridiculous the way they do that to those children.

September 22, 2011 10:02 AM
By Anonymous (not verified)


September 22, 2011 10:13 AM
By Anonymous (not verified)

I knew a cat named Alaska, after the Velvet Underground song, "Stephanie Says", so I personally don't see it as trashy or a Palin tribute, as much as a hipster shout-out. I like it.

I tutored a gorgeous, and yes, effervescent, woman named Sparkle. She was awesome, and it really did suit her, but I was not surprised to learn that Sparkle's mother was a rather um...ghetto individual. Rule of thumb: do not name your daughter anything that sounds like a hastily-thought-up stripper name!

Also, I think the lack of outrage towards these names versus Apple is that Gwynneth is seen as something of a tastemaker, whereas one expects trashy pageant moms to give their kids stupid names.

September 23, 2011 12:07 AM
By Angela (not verified)

I like Alaska because of the Printz Prize winning book "Looking for Alaska." In fact, I think obscure place names are generally really pretty. I like Indiana and Pemberly too. They're on the fringe of my naming style though, so I probably won't use any like that for my kids.

The word names...I'm not a fan. And the creative spellings...even less so. I think that they look tacky and cause so much trouble for the kids.

Some blended/invented names can be cool, but there's definitely a cutoff. If it reminds me too much of Twilight's "Renesmee" then it's a no-go.

September 24, 2011 11:49 AM
By C (not verified)

Brittannie stood out to me when I watched the show. So many unnecessary letters.

September 4, 2012 8:14 AM
By Ina (not verified)

I love all those names on T&T But I love Allyson, Emerald, Tori (Victoria) , Sadie, Daylee the most.

October 8, 2012 1:05 AM
By Anonymous (not verified)

hi im sparkal i think at it is mean for everybody to talk about me this way just think about it this way what if your name was SPARKAL QUEENZ its not far that i get picked on just because my name school now the web:[

November 13, 2012 5:08 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

sparkle I think your name is just beautiful ive just had a babyy gilr and id love to call her tinkerbell, i wont because of school bullys but once you leave school and become 18 your name will be just stunning imagine being 18 and a boy saying whats your name and you can say sparkle i think youll be lucky.. my nephew is diesel like the clothes name and eveyone calls him petrol hes sad to but when you leave school it wont be.. xx

October 20, 2014 6:48 AM
By Anonymous (not verified)

I think that some of the names are weird but I think that these are pretty:
Mackenzie (without the spelling)
Paisley (the name itself, not dicky)

October 20, 2014 6:50 AM
By Anonymous (not verified)

Roni sorry autocorrect but I actually do like Toni

October 11, 2017 8:49 PM
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