According to a supervisor at the Department of Public Health Vital Records Office in Los Angeles, it is against the law in the state to include numbers or symbols in a name. The Vital Records Office in L.A. is believed to be the office responsible for Musk’s son, as it is believed the baby was born in the city.
The California law in question states names can only include the 26 letters of the English alphabet.
The news that Musk was planning to give his son the unconventional name was first reported on Monday when the Tesla CEO tweeted photos of the baby along with the odd name.
In a tweet on Tuesday, Grimes explained the logic behind the name, including a clarification that it was in part inspired by the A-12 spy plane, which was used by the CIA during the Cold War and is a precursor to the couple’s favorite aircraft. The X is meant to represent an unknown variable. Æ is Grimes’s elven spelling of Ai, which means either love or artificial intelligence.
When you combine the elements of the name, it seems it means “metal rat.” It’s pronounced like the letter A, which is short for Archangel, Grimes’s favorite song.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 5, 2020
Now, it seems like all the effort they put into naming their son may have been for nothing. If California law wins out, they’ll likely have to come up with a new version of the name that doesn’t include any numbers or special characters. At the very least, X Æ A-12 is unlikely to show up on his birth certificate.
When news of what the couple had decided to name their child first broke, the reaction was mixed. Things only got more confusing for social media users after Grimes tried to offer an explanation.
“Thanks this didn’t help at all,” one user wrote.
Another responded by asking Grimes whether she was aware that this was a human child she was naming and not an EP. Grimes responded to the tweet, writing that she hoped her child would be into the unconventional name.
“I think it sounds like the name of the main character in the story. I hope he vibes with that. Ok, going back into the pain/ beauty reverie for sum time, just came on to add my thoughts. Peace to all,” the musician wrote.