Grimes & Elon Musk’s Baby Name ‘X Æ A-12’ Actually Has a Deep Meaning

Grimes & Elon Musk’s Baby Name ‘X Æ A-12’ Actually Has a Deep Meaning

When a tech billionaire and pop’s very own Miss Anthropocene decide to have a baby, you already know that kid is going to have a unique name. That said, most of us still weren’t prepared for Elon Musk and Grimes’ baby name meaning. Musk, 48, announced the baby boy’s name on Twitter: X Æ A-12. And then the internet broke.

OK, not quite. But it might as well have. Followers of the hopeful Mars colonist and his partner, 32-year-old Claire Boucher a.k.a. Grimes, flooded social media with questions of concern and speculation in the hours following their announcement. Is it real? How does one pronounce X Æ A-12? And what, in all of the galaxy, can it mean? Assuming that the tech billionaire isn’t just pulling a fast one on all of us with his response to a tweet asking about the baby’s name, let’s dive in.

For anyone who only knows Musk from his founding days as Tesla’s CEO and product architect, you’ll also want to know that he is the current founder and CEO of SpaceX—a private spacecraft and space transport company whose mission, among others, is the pursuit of a human habitat on the now-uninhabitable planet of Mars (naturally, Musk is trying to change that latter bit). He’s also taken great lengths to retain a web domain,, home to a financial services firm that he co-founded in 1999 and lost ownership of a year later; now, you’ll probably recognize that firm by its relaunched name, PayPal.

So, suffice to say, Musk has a thing for the letter X. That explains the first part of baby X Æ A-12’s name—but what about the rest?

For the Scandinavians amongst us, you’ll recognize Æ. The letter can sound like the long “a” sound in the English word “battle” when spoken in Norwegian. Though other theorists on Reddit have noted that the technical term for this joint ligature also has a name: “ash.” So it’s possible that the Æ in baby X’s name is pronounced as such.

We also have a connection to A-12. According to one Twitter user, this part of baby X’s name could be a reference to a former CIA “supersonic spy” aircraft called the Lockheed A-12 OXCART—whose internal project code name was “Archangel.”

Musk has since liked a tweet suggesting the connection. And as if that wasn’t enough, Grimes’ 2015 fourth album has the suspiciously similar title of Art Angels. All signs are pointing to the possibility that fans have figured it out: Baby X Æ A-12’s name could very well be pronounced as “X Ash Archangel.”

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