The tech billionaire Elon Musk and the musician Grimes have had their first baby together, and the world is a bit confused by his name.
When a follower asked Musk on Monday night what they’d named their new son, Musk replied, “X Æ A-12 Musk.”
Many speculated the name is a joke. Musk is a known Twitter prankster, frequently posting jokes and memes for his 33.6 million followers. He’s also gotten into hot water for his reckless tweeting about things like taking Tesla private or calling a British cave diver who helped rescue a trapped Thai soccer team a “pedo guy.”
Others have speculated that the string of characters Musk tweeted is a riddle or an equation that adds up to the actual name. One person guessed that the name is actually “X Ash Archangel,” which Musk liked on Twitter.
On Tuesday night, Grimes posted a breakdown of what each character means.
•X, the unknown variable ⚔️
•Æ, my elven spelling of Ai (love &/or Artificial intelligence)
•A-12 = precursor to SR-17 (our favorite aircraft). No weapons, no defenses, just speed. Great in battle, but non-violent ????
(A=Archangel, my favorite song)
(⚔️???? metal rat)
— ꧁ ༒ Gℜiꪔ⃕es ༒꧂ ???????????? 小仙女 (@Grimezsz) May 6, 2020
“X” stands for the “unknown variable,” “Æ” stands for Grimes’ “elven spelling of Ai,” and “A-12” stands for a type of CIA aircraft known internally as Archangel.
“Metal rat” at the bottom of Grimes’ tweet is a reference to the baby’s sign. The Chinese Zodiac includes both animal signs and five elements (earth, wood, water, fire, and metal), and 2020 is the year of the metal rat on the Chinese Zodiac.
But Grimes’ clarification only complicates the situation further. The character “Æ” is known as an ash, and the actual sound the symbol refers to is like the A in “cat” or “bad,” according to Dictionary.com. That means it wouldn’t sound like “Ai” if being pronounced correctly.
Plus, California state laws around naming a baby stipulate that the name can only include the 26 letters of the English alphabet. According to the state of California’s birth registration handbook, baby names can’t include “ideograms,” meaning a symbol that represents a thing or an idea, and they can only include “appropriate” punctuation, like a hyphen in the name “Smith-Jones.” Names cannot include numerical characters.
Musk and Grimes live in California, which means “X Æ A-12” likely isn’t what’s listed on the baby’s birth certificate.
But if X Æ A-12 is what the couple is calling the baby, we have a few clues about how it would be pronounced:
Either way, we won’t know what the true name is or how it’s pronounced until Musk or Grimes decides to shed more light on the mystery.
This content was originally published here.