On May 4, Elon Musk revealed the unique moniker that he and Grimes had given their newborn son, telling fans that his name is X Æ A-12 Musk. But, those closest to the couple, including Musk's mother, Maye Musk, aren't necessarily going to refer to the newborn by his full name. According to Page Six, Musk's mother has a rather simple nickname for her grandson.
Page Six reported that Maye stated that she calls her newborn grandson only by "X." Ever since Musk and Grimes — whose real name is Claire Boucher — announced their son's name, there has been plenty of discussion surrounding the unusual moniker. Shortly after his son's birth, the SpaceX CEO appeared on The Joe Rogan Experience podcast to discuss the name. During his time on the program, he revealed that his girlfriend was the one who "mostly came up with the name." He then went on to explain how his child's name is supposed to be pronounced. He shared that X Æ A-12 is pronounced with X "like the letter," while the Æ is pronounced like "ash." Musk also told host Joe Rogan that his son's name is a nod to the Lockheed A-12 reconnaissance aircraft built by the U.S. Central Intelligence agency, telling him, "A-12 was my contribution. The Archangel-12, the precursor to the SR-71, the coolest plane ever."
However, there was a little discrepancy between Musk's explanation and the one that Grimes shared on Instagram. On the social media site, the singer explained about her son's name, "It's just X, like the letter X. Then A.I. Like how you said the letter A then I." On Twitter, she went on to explain that X was for the "unknown variable" and that Æ is her "elven spelling of Ai (love &/or Artificial Intelligence).
Even though there may be a difference of opinion between Musk and Grimes regarding the exact pronunciation of their child's full moniker, X Æ A-12 likely won't be the name on his birth certificate. As for the reason why, it all ties back to a California statue about names. In the state, only the 26 characters in the English language are allowed in an individual's name. Numbers, Roman numerals, accents, umlauts, and other associated symbols are not permitted, although apostrophes are permitted.