Billionaire tech entrepreneur Elon Musk and Canadian musician Grimes welcomed a baby boy Tuesday and announced on Twitter that they’re naming their newborn son X Æ A-12. The entirety of social media, all around the world has been discussing the uniquely weird name ever since.
During a recent podcast interview with comedian Joe Rogan, Musk explained the meaning
behind the name and also the way to pronounce it.
During the interview, among other things, Rogan asked Musk the apparent question “How does one say the name?” “Is it a placeholder?” (a temporary name). To which the tech giant clarified that it’s not.
“The correct pronunciation is ‘X Ash A Twelve’,” explained Elon Musk in the interview. The name was an effort of both parents, Musk said, and half-inspired by “the coolest plane ever.”
“First of all, my partner’s the one that mostly came up with the name,” the 48-year-old said. “It’s just X, the letter X, then the ‘Æ’ is pronounced, ‘Ash,’ then, ‘A-12’ is my contribution.”
“A-12,” he continued, “is a nod to the Archangel 12, the precursor to the SR-71, coolest plane ever. It’s true.”
Grimes (real name Claire Elise Boucher), 32, also explained the origin of X Æ A-12’s name on Twitter a day after he was born:
•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 defences, just speed. Great in battle, but non-violent.
(A=Archangel, my favourite song)
(⚔🐁 metal rat)
Unfortunately for the couple, their dreams of an unusually named child may come to an end rather quickly. According to California state laws, names can only use the 26 letters of the English alphabet, which even rules out names with accents, CNN reports. “A name like ‘X Æ A-12’ wouldn’t be allowed,” Matt Conens, a spokesman for the Office of Public Affairs of the California Department of Public Health, told Today.
Elon Musk is an active presence on Twitter, where he often engages with his followers and
indulges in internet culture. He has also described himself as a “meme lord” at various times.
The eccentric tech giant has five sons with his former wife, Justine Wilson. Their names are Damian, Griffin, Xavier, Saxon and Kai.