The Brief: Elon Musk and Grimes explained their baby's name: X Æ A-12, but it didn't stop memes about the name.


Elon Musk and Grimes publicly explained their new baby’s widely-memed name X Æ A-12. In a tweet posted the day after the baby was born, Grimes broke down the name as “X, the unknown variable,” “Æ, my elven spelling of Ai (love &/or Artificial intelligence),” “A-12 = precursor to SR-17 (our favorite aircraft),” and the A in Archangel as “my favorite song.” Grimes has an album called “Art Angels,” but did not make a direct connection to her baby’s name and this album.

This is not far off from some prominent fan theories about the name’s origin that started as soon as the baby’s name was announced.

Grimes’ tweet is similar to the explanation Elon Musk gave on Joe Rogan’s podcast which was released on May 7th. He said that Grimes mostly came up with the name and that “X [is] the letter x, the ‘Æ’ is pronounced ‘Ash’, and A-12 is my contribution: Archanngel 12 [is] the predecessor to the SR71, coolest plane ever.” In the podcast, Rogan and Musk also remarked on how the baby was born on May the Fourth and discussed some deep topics, but Musk did not smoke any weed on camera (as he has in the past).

In spite of X Æ A-12’s parents’ relatively clear-cut explanations of the name, memes about this eccentric baby name continue to spread online.