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Entertainment & Arts

Grimes explains her baby’s outlandish name — and Elon Musk corrects her

Elon Musk, Grimes
Elon Musk, left, and Grimes shared the inspiration behind baby X Æ A-12’s name.
(Angela Weiss / AFP / Getty Images)

Artificial intelligence, elf lore and an aircraft used by NASA are just a few things that inspired the internet’s new favorite baby name, X Æ A-12.

Canadian musician Grimes explained her newborn’s baffling name Tuesday night on Twitter, while boyfriend Elon Musk took the opportunity to correct her — fewer than two days after she gave birth.

“X, the unknown variable ... Æ, my elven spelling of Ai (love &/or Artificial intelligence) ... A-12 = precursor to SR-17 (our favorite aircraft),” Grimes wrote. “No weapons, no defenses, just speed. Great in battle, but non-violent + (A=Archangel, my favorite song).”

Cue the SpaceX chief executive’s unsolicited correction: “SR-71, but yes.”

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Anyway, the 32-year-old “Oblivion” hitmaker cut herself some slack for mixing up the order of two numbers while introducing her own child to the world.

“I am recovering from surgery and barely alive so may my typos b forgiven but, damnit,” she replied to Musk, who is known for his controversial Twitter remarks. “That was meant to be profound.”

On Tuesday, the 48-year-old Tesla mastermind nearly broke the internet when he revealed the first photos and futuristic name of his son. As soon as X Æ A-12 Musk arrived, social media erupted with memes about baby robots and how to pronounce the infant’s name. (For the record, we still don’t know.)

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk unveiled on Twitter the first photos and very out-there name of his newborn son with Canadian singer and producer Grimes.
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Before X Æ A-12’s name was unveiled, some speculated the experimental pop artist and her tech-mogul beau would dub their offspring an obscure computer code or “ERROR404" alert. As noted by Grimes at the time, their predictions were “on point.”

Some have even wondered whether the couple is legally allowed to assign a series of letters and numbers to their baby. Speaking to People magazine, family law attorney David Glass said naming their son X Æ A-12 isn’t technically against the law but that it won’t be accepted by the state of California.

“In California, you can only use the ’26 characters’ of the English language in your baby name,” he told People. “Thus, you can’t have numbers, Roman numerals, accents, umlauts or other symbols or emojis. Although an apostrophe, for a name like ‘O’Connor,’ is acceptable.”

One troll targeted Grimes directly Tuesday on Twitter, quipping, “You realize this is a human child and not an EP right[?],” likely referring to the artist’s titles for previous albums.

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“I think it sounds like the name of the main character in the story,” Grimes responded with a planet emoji. “I hope he vibes with that. Ok, going back to the pain/beauty reverie for sum time, just came on to add my thoughts. Peace to all.”


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