Elon Musk and Grimes’ Baby’s Name Tosses the Internet Into a Frenzy

This article was originally published on June 3, 2020 by Deepika Tiruveedhula and Savannah Webb.

On January 8th, Claire Elise Boucher, known professionally as Grimes, posted a picture confirming that she would be having a baby with her boyfriend Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla. This shocked the internet since it would be the couple’s first child, but what really took them by storm was what they were planning to name the baby. On May 4th, the day of the baby boy’s birth, Elon tweeted a picture of him with the baby, subsequently making a short reply to a tweet stating that the baby’s name would be “X Æ A-12”. For some, the name seemed perfectly in-character for the couple, since both of them are known to be unconventional and eccentric. But some internet users seemed to think otherwise. Overall, there were mixed reactions, to say the least. Just within a day, Twitter blew up with memes about the baby’s robot-like name and it’s confusing pronunciation. The next day, Grimes responded to this by putting out a statement on Twitter, where she explained how to pronounce the name and the meaning behind it.

She explained that “X” represented the unknown variable in many mathematical equations, and that “Æ”, which is read as “ai”, means love or artificial intelligence. “A-12” which was Elon’s contribution, stood for the name of the precursor of Elon and Grimes’ favorite aircraft SR-17. “A” stood for “Archangel”, the name of Grimes’ favorite song. On Twitter, Elon corrected his girlfriend’s tweet by mentioning that she meant to say SR-71 as the name of their favorite aircraft, not 17. Elon then stated in an interview that the nickname of the baby would be “X” so it would be easier to say. Many of the clever internet users started to formulate how to say the full unique name and fooled many into believing it’s “Kyle”. A few days later Elon appeared on a podcast interview with Joe Rogan, where he said the name was pronounced “ X – Ash – Archangel”. Many people are still unclear about the pronunciation, however, because Grimes said that it is pronounced “X-A-I” in response to an Instagram comment.

Shortly after, however, some fans informed the couple that the state of California only allows names to have the 26 English letters of the alphabet and some punctuation marks. 20 days after the birth, Grimes took to Instagram to clear this up. She replied to a fan’s comment on one of her posts, saying that the last part of the name will be changed to “XÆ A-Xii” to fix the legal problem. She also replied to another comment explaining that she changed the name because it looked better to her. However, many people still think the Æ part of the name won’t be accepted since it isn’t a standard English character.

With the name change, Grimes has also said that her nickname for XÆ A-Xii is “Little X”. While the couple has tried their best to explain the change in their baby’s name, the internet still remains confused about the name and curious to see how he will grow up with this outlandish name. Many memes have spread throughout social media musing on what future XÆ A-Xii will think about his name, or how he will interact with other celebrities. While some people are worried that XÆ A-Xii will be bullied in the future for his name, many are sure that he will grow up to be a secure, happy child with the love and support of his accomplished parents.