Update, May 6: Speculate no more! Grimes confirmed her son’s name is X Æ A-12 over Twitter. She broke down the meaning behind each character and added that she hopes “he vibes with that.” It’s likely his name is pronounced “X Eye A-12.”
Earlier: He’s no “COVID Bryant,” but Grimes and Elon Musk are welcoming a son with a potentially unusual name during pandemic times.
The world’s initial glimpse of the couple’s first child was a cheeky Instagram filtered photo, followed by a more wholesome image of Musk cradling his kid.
But what people really wanted to know was the baby’s name, the subject of countless jokes for months related to the couple’s eccentrism and love of technology (a few of which came close to Grimes’ own baby name list). Was their son’s name a series of clicks and beeps? Lines of code? An anime franchise? Better yet, an unexpectedly normal name, like “Todd?” Surely not “Influenza,” as unfounded rumours suggested.
Musk tweeted out the baby’s name, but knowing the 48-year-old billionaire’s penchant for being ridiculous, it’s hard to know if we should take it seriously. But if we’re to take him at his word, say hello to X Æ A-12 Musk.
As Grimes has yet to weigh in, it’s not yet known whether she and Musk are actually going to give their baby this idiosyncratic moniker. That didn’t stop Twitter from jumping on the opportunity to poke fun at the very on-brand name.
Watch the video above to hear other hilarious ways Twitter is reacting the the couple’s baby announcement.
OK seriously, how do you pronounce “X Æ A-12?”
With nothing confirmed on Grimes’ side, it’s probably best to take the name with a grain of salt. But for theory lovers, a deep-dive by Inverse points out that each character in the alleged baby name might carry meaning.
X may refer to Musk’s beloved company X.com, an online bank service that later became Paypal. He cryptically responded to Grimes’ pregnancy photos with “X = Y,” a cryptic statement that some now believe was a gender reveal hidden in plain sight; given Grimes previously backed raising their child as gender-neutral, it’s unclear if she’s still pursuing the parenting style.
A tweet by Tesla fan Vivien Hantusch suggests the Æ, which is pronounced similar to “ah”, and A-12 refers to an aircraft also known as “Archangel.” The tweet got attention after Musk himself liked it.
Others believe Æ was referenced in Grimes’ latest album, particularly one cyberpunk-infused, Bollywood-inspired track.
Taking all this into account, the name can technically be pronounced as “X Ah A-12,” or interpreted as “X Ash Archangel.” Maybe just “Ash Musk?” Who knows!
If his name is indeed Ash, it would play into Grimes’ love for Pokémon; she’s shown love to the franchise in since-deleted Tumblr posts, referenced the show by its catch phrase in her 2015 album, and paid homage to the owl Pokémon Rowlet earlier this year.
Going full rabbit hole here: Ash Ketchum is the protagonist’s name in English; in Japanese, his name is Satoshi, which could be a wink to Bitcoin’s mysterious founder, Satoshi Nakamoto. Musk has shared his appreciation for cryptocurrency in the past.
What’s clear is that his family is very excited to meet him, including Canadian-South African model and Musk’s mom, Maye Musk. The proud grandma doesn’t refer to her grandson by name in a recent tweet congratulating the couple.
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