Updated May 6, 2020: So it turns out that while the internet was close to figuring out the meaning of Grimes and Elon Musk's baby's name, they just barely missed the mark.
New mom Grimes shared the official meaning of baby X Æ A-12's name on Twitter, and it still doesn't make any sense. We were right about the reference to the CIA's Lockheed A-12 ("our favorite aircraft"), but the ligature Æ is actually an elven variation of the word "ai," which the singer says refers to love and/or artificial intelligence — which, honestly, tracks with this couple. As for the Archangel bit, it's a callback to Burial's dubstep song "Archangel" (2007), Grimes' favorite song.
So close, but no cigar.
This story was originally written on May 5, 2020.
Celebrity parents have never hesitated to think outside the box when it comes to naming their children — after all, if there’s any place where standing out is actually a good thing, it’s Hollywood. But even for new parents Grimes and Elon Musk, a couple not known for coloring inside the lines, the name that they gave their baby boy is genuinely throwing us for a loop.
Last night, the technology entrepreneur tweeted out that Grimes had safely given birth to their son, the first for the singer and the sixth for Musk (he has five older sons from a previous marriage). Given the eccentricities of the pair, fans were certain that the newborn would be given a unique name, and they were right: X Æ A-12.
It's hard to tell whether Musk is kidding around or not — this is the same man who has advocated nuking Mars to warm the planet enough to make it inhabitable for humans — but there's a good chance that X Æ A-12 is a very real name. And of course, the internet scrambled to meme the newborn as quickly as they could.
All jokes aside, people were keen on trying to to decipher the significance of the baby's name. One Reddit user studied the name closely to figure out what it means and how it might be pronounced, coming up with "X Ash Archangel Musk."
"He's already got x.com ready and waiting," the user said of the technocrat. "Btw, the name for the ligature Æ is 'ash' .. so in the name, it may be pronounced that way... and the Lockheed A-12 was part of the Archangel internal design effort."
There's no word if X is the baby's actual name (or just a placeholder for something else), but A-12 is likely a callback to the CIA's Lockheed A-12 — also codenamed "Archangel." A different user on Twitter came up with the same answer, and Musk liked the tweet, so it looks like we may actually be on to something here. Adding more fuel to this theory is the fact that Grimes dropped a song mysteriously titled "4ÆM." Its lyrics seem to be about a late night rendezvous at four in the morning, but knowing what we know now, maybe the mother-to-be was dropping a clue without us even realizing it.
If we're on the right track with the name, I'm certain that Grimes and Musk will have an explanation that will only make us more confused.