This article originally appeared on VICE Indonesia.
Tech billionaire Elon Musk and Canadian pop singer Grimes welcomed their first child together yesterday and as if the birth itself was not headline-worthy enough, the Tesla founder announced to millions of followers on Twitter that their newborn’s name was X Æ A-12. Well, kind of.
In a cryptic tweet, Musk said: “X Æ A-12 Musk.”
Now, netizens are trying to figure out how to pronounce the group of characters, or if it’s somehow a code for the baby’s actual name.
Some pointed out that the letter Æ is pronounced “ash” in Scandinavian. Meanwhile, Grimes confirmed via Twitter that “A-12” refers to both her favourite song “Archangel” and the precursor to the Lockheed SR-71 aircraft.
As a result, netizens speculated that the name might be read simply as “Ash Archangel Musk.” But later on, other fans pointed out that Grimes tweeted that the Æ symbol was short for “artificial intelligence” or "ai," the Mandarin word for “love.”
The letter “X” could simply be pronounced as is, or as the roman numeral for 10. But since Æ could refer to “Archangel,” some fans have guessed that the letter X might stand for Xai, the name of an Enochian angel. As of now, many are rallying behind “Xai Archangel Musk” as the most plausible pronunciation.
Others, meanwhile, believe it’s more likely that Musk is just pulling a Twitter joke, which he has done before.
Musk and Grimes often make headlines individually and as a couple. Many were shocked when they started dating in 2018, when Musk was 46 years old and Grimes was 30. More recently, in early May, Grimes’ fans, who are mostly supporters of American democratic socialist Bernie Sanders, slammed Musk for calling for an end to social distancing measures and to “Free America Now.”
The hullabaloo about their baby’s name is tame in comparison. Most people are just intrigued by the seemingly strange choice.
And if X Æ A-12 turns out to be their son’s real name, he won’t exactly be the only celebrity offspring with an unusual name.