X Æ A-12: Elon Musk and his partner Claire Grimes had left the netizens guessing the meaning of the name they had given to their baby boy. Later both of them explained the meaning on 2 different platforms.
SpaceX CEO and tech billionaire Elon Musk and musician Claire Grimes had a baby together on 4th May 2020. Musk replied by typing “X Æ A-12 Musk” when a follower asked him what was his son’s name. This name looks and has such an unusual spelling and pronunciation.
X Æ A-12: Original Thoughts
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Many thought that the name was a joke and he was fooling his fans. Musk is known to be a Twitter prankster. He frequently tweets jokes, puns and memes on the platform where he has millions of followers. He has even been reckless and been fined for taking these jokes too far. His Tweets about making Tesla private or Dogecoin are some of the examples.
Some of the fans even thought that this was some kind of riddle which had to be solved to know the actual name. One of them had actually guessed that the name was “X Ash Archangel,” which Musk later liked on Twitter.
Claire Grime’s Explanation
Two days later after Xii’s birth, Grimes gave an explanation of each character by a tweet.
- ‘X’ stands for the “unknown variable.”
- Æ stands for her “elven spelling of Ai,” which means love/ AI.
- A-12 stands for a of CIA aircraft known also as Archangel, which was their favorite aircraft. No weapons, no defenses, just speed. Great in battle, but non-violent.
“Metal rat” mentioned at the bottom of her tweet is a reference to the Xii’s sign w.r.t the Chinese zodiac. It includes both five elements (earth, wood, water, fire, and metal) and animals. According to it the baby’s sign was metal rat for the year 2020.
The clarification given by Grimes confused people further. According to Dictionary.com the character Æ is known as an ash. The sound that the symbol Æ makes is like the A in “cat” or “bad,” and not like “Ai”.
After that she responded to someone asking how the name was pronounced. They had asked her this in the comments of her Italian Vogue shoot post on Instagram. Grimes wrote, “It’s just X, like the letter X. Then A.I. Like how you said the letter A then I.”
Elon Musk’s Explanation
Musk appeared on the “Joe Rogan Experience” podcast sometime in mid-May. This was the first time Elon was sharing how he pronounced the unusual name. There was definitely a difference between how Elon and Grimes pronounced the name.
“It’s just X, the letter X. And then the Æ is, like, pronounced ‘ash,’. And then A-12 is my contribution … Archangel-12, the precursor to the SR-71, coolest plane ever”, Musk told Rogan. Musk told Rogan that Grimes was the actually the one to come up with the name. He also said that she was great at names.
Check out the video of the “Joe Rogan Experience” podcast, which was later released below.
This video has been viewed more than 10 million times. Many people started sharing videos of how to pronounce the name after this one came out.
Problem with Law
This clarity in the name given by both Grimes and Musk did not last long. California laws state that a name can include only the 26 letters of the English alphabet and no other characters.
According to California’s birth-registration book, names can’t have “ideograms,” and can include only “appropriate punctuation,” like the hyphen between names. ‘ideograms’ are such words that represent an idea or a thing. Names cannot also include any of the numeric characters.
“X Æ A-12” could not be listed on the baby’s birth certificate because Elon and Grimes live in California. In an Instagram comment on a later date, Grimes said that they had changed the spelling of the baby’s name to “X Æ A-Xii”. This had been done to comply with the state’s name laws.
In a follow-up comment, Grimes said, “Roman numerals. Looks better tbh.”
It is still not clear how the latter half of the name is pronounced. Elon and Grimes simply call him ‘X’ for day to day. Adorable baby Musk is now already over an year old. We get to see some glimpses of him on his mother’s Instagram account.
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