Grimes and Elon Musk Just Explained How to Say Son X AE A-12's Name — But They Pronounce It Differently

Awkward! Elon Musk and girlfriend Grimes might need to have a conversation about how to pronounce the unique name they've chosen for son X Æ A-12. Having welcomed their first child together Monday, the "Genesis" singer and Tesla CEO have both given markedly different explanations as to how you say the name they chose, leading to confusion on social media as to what was actually going on.

Musk offered up his pronunciation of the name on Thursday's episode of The Joe Rogan Experience podcast after explaining it was Grimes who "mostly came up with the name," adding, "Yeah, she's great at names." By his explanation, X Æ A-12 is pronounced with X "like the letter," while "the 'Æ' is pronounced like 'ash.'" Grimes, whose real name is Claire Boucher, described the pronunciation differently on Instagram Thursday, however, telling a curious follower, "It's just X, like the letter X. Then A.I. Like how you said the letter A then I."

Musk also told Rogan that the A-12 portion of his son's name was hit nod to the Lockheed A-12 reconnaissance aircraft built by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency. "A-12 was my contribution. The Archangel-12, the precursor to the SR-71, the coolest plane ever," he explained. The other parts of the name were explained by Grimes on Twitter, who said X was for the "unknown variable" and the Æ is her "elven spelling of Ai (love &/or Artificial intelligence)."

Regardless of if the couple reaches a consensus on their son's name, it likely won't be what is listed on his birth certificate under California statute, which only allows the 26 characters of the English language in a baby name, excluding numbers, Roman numerals, accents, umlauts or other symbols or emojis. Apostrophes are permitted.

X Æ A-12 is Grimes' first child and the SpaceX founder's sixth, as he has has five sons from a previous marriage. His first son, Nevada, died of SIDS at 10 weeks old in 2002. On Thursday's podcast, Musk revealed he was reveling in being a father more at 48 than in his younger years. "Actually, I think it's better being older and having a kid," he said. "I appreciate it more. Babies are awesome. They're awesome. They're little lovebugs. It's wonderful. It's great."


After announcing her pregnancy in January, Grimes admitted on social media she felt "woefully ill prepared" for being pregnant. "I just didn't [really] understand what I was getting into," she wrote on Jan. 31. "It's been good too, but it makes working a lot harder. Good at writing and having lots of wild ideas tho (sic), but anything physical is hard. Im also way more emo and less capable of bravery in the face of haters online and stuff haha. But my albums out in a sec so I prob need to get back on here. Don't mind my emo energy, but curious what other [people's] experience was like... I didn't even Google it, I was just like sure y not hahaha [shake my head]."