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Grimes Explains The Meaning Behind X Æ A-12, Her & Elon Musk’s Beyond-Bizarre Baby Name

Updated May 6, 2020, at 9 a.m ET: After giving birth to her baby boy earlier this week, musician Grimes took to Twitter on Tuesday night to explain his very strange name, X Æ A-12. Up until this point, we weren’t sure whether Elon Musk had been serious when he revealed the name in a Twitter reply, but now it sure does seem like they’re serious.

“X, the unknown variable ⚔️,” she wrote in her first tweet since Friday. “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).”

That’s as well thought-out as any other parents’ rationale for naming their baby. We’re just waiting for some instruction as to how one pronounces it. Or not. It’s entirely their right not to tell us ever.

Original story, published May 5, 2020:

We never expected inventor-entrepreneur Elon Musk and musician Grimes to name their baby something traditional. Those two march to the beat of their own intergalactic drum line, after all. But after Musk announced the birth of their baby boy on Twitter on Monday night, he also revealed a baby name that is, well, so very unusual that we’re not sure we believe him: X Æ A-12 Musk.

How does one pronounce that exactly? Is it in a robotic or alien language? What keyboard shortcut does one even use to get Æ without just copying and pasting it?

Well, at least his name is not Influenza Musk, as the rumors last month had it.

We’re taking this baby name news with a huge grain of salt, because the Tesla and SpaceX founder wrote it in a reply tweet, with very little context.

Not that Grimes has been big on context throughout her pregnancy. In fact, when she first announced it, sharing photos of her bump looking very alien-like indeed, some of us wondered if it was really a stunt to promote her album, Miss Anthropocene. She did, after all, have a Twitter account for a baby called WarNymph, which predated her pregnancy.

Her later Instagram and Twitter posts removed that skepticism, however, as she started to sound a whole lot more like a pregnant person, with all the good and bad that comes with that state.

“I feel like I was woefully ill prepared cuz I dunno if pregnancy is as visible or discussed as it should be,” she wrote on Instagram in January. “I just didn’t rly understand what I was getting into. It’s been good too, but it makes working a lot harder.”

Grimes’ real name is Claire Elise Boucher. She reportedly chose her name when she joined MySpace in 2007 and randomly selected “grime” as one of her musical genres. As far as we know, Elon has always gone by Elon, a variation of the Hebrew name Ilan, which means “tree.”

As soon as we know the meaning of X Æ A-12, we’ll let you know.

Here are some of the other brilliant and unusual celebrity baby names we love.


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