Grimes’ Nickname For Her Son is Easier to Pronounce, But Still Weird

The world should be used to Elon Musk and Grimes by now. They constantly shock the public with their eccentricities, to the point where their behavior really shouldn’t be a surprise.

But apparently the two still have some tricks up their sleeve. When they welcomed their first child together in May, the name they chose turned some heads, to say the least. 

There may be more diplomatic ways to say it, but Grimes and Musk’s name choice is weird. It’s so weird, that the state of California wouldn’t allow it on the birth certificate. 

Elon Musk and Grimes named their child X Æ A-12

Grimes on the red carpet
Grimes | ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images

Musk’s now-infamous tweet announcing the baby boy’s arrival came on May 4th. The name Grimes and her inventor boyfriend chose? X Æ A-12. It’s not so much a name, as a series of letters and numbers with significance to Grimes and Musk. A day later, Grimes followed up with this explanation for the name: 

“X, the unknown variable. Æ, my elven spelling of Ai (love &/or Artificial intelligence). A-12 = precursor to SR-17 (our favorite aircraft). No weapons, no defenses, just speed. Great in battle, but non-violent + (A=Archangel, my favorite song) (metal rat).”

Musk has said that Grimes came up with the name. His only contribution was the A-12 bit, which does reference the plane, Archangel-12. Musk himself said he chose that plane because it is a “precursor” to the “coolest plane ever,” the SR-71. Why they didn’t name the child X Æ SR-71 is a mystery in and of itself. Either way, according to Cosmopolitan, Grimes did make a mistake in her original tweet when she wrote SR-17 instead of SR-71. 

The state of California would not accept X Æ A-12 on a birth certificate

But the state of California, where baby X Æ A-12 was born, would not allow that to be put on the baby’s birth certificate. They do not allow numerical characters in names, or characters that are not found in the English alphabet. So Grimes and Musk improvised. Their baby’s official name is X Æ X-Xii, the Xii representing the Roman numerals for 12.

Although Grimes and Musk haven’t mentioned it, the Æ character isn’t allowed on California birth certificates either. Some have speculated that the child’s legal name may be completely different. Or maybe they used AE instead of Æ. 

Some Twitter users have said that they think the baby’s real name is Kyle, and that may be what Musk and Grimes put on the birth certificate. The reasoning behind that theory is a little convoluted, but not as convoluted as the name X Æ A-12.

Grimes has a nickname for X Æ A-12


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Like most little ones, X Æ A-12 has been given a cute nickname by his mom. At home, says Harper’s Bazaar, he simply goes by “Little X.” That’s certainly easier to pronounce. Plus, it’s not as weird as Grimes’ original name choice. But it’s still a little weird.

Thankfully for X Æ A-12, he’s famous. That means most people he meets will probably know about his name, and how to pronounce it. Otherwise, he would be explaining how to pronounce this series of letters his parents have saddled him with for the rest of his life. 

Musk took care of letting the world know how to pronounce X Æ A-12 for his son. After Grimes’ tweet announcing the name went viral, Musk went on Joe Rogan’s podcast and explained how to pronounce it. Apparently the Æ character is pronounced “Ash.” That means baby X Æ A-12 is pronounced “X-Ash-A-12.”