Turns out, Elon Musk was completely serious about his new baby’s name, X Æ A-12. On Twitter on Tuesday night, Grimes, real name Claire Boucher, explained why they chose a name that sounds like it could be a Star Wars droid. And it actually holds some sentimental value. Well, not X. X just means X, “the unknown variable,” Grimes wrote. Æ is her “elven spelling” of “ai,” which resembles the Chinese word for love and, of course, AI. Finally, A-12 is the name of their “favorite aircraft,” she said the way some people say favorite flower. “No weapons, no defenses, just speed,” she added. “Great in battle, but non-violent.” Oh, and the A in “A-12” stands for “Archangel,” Grimes’s “favorite song,” whatever that is. Just for one second, imagine her explaining all this to X on Platform 9 3/4 before he heads off on his first year at magic school: “X Æ A-12, you were named for two technological feats. One of them was a spy plane and it went really, really fast.”
Fans, haters, and innocent bystanders alike were confused by the license-plate-looking name, but Grimes is confident in their choice. “I think it sounds like the name of the main character in the story,” she replied to a tweet that said the name looked like an EP title. “I hope he vibes with that.” Now we know what the name means, but neither parent offered a pronunciation guide. In fact, they added one more layer of confusion: Both parents are using he/him pronouns and referring to X as a boy, despite Grimes’s previous claim that they didn’t want to “gender them.” Either way, a baby name hasn’t caused this much excitement since Kim and Kanye went with “North West.” And look how iconic that turned out.