Californian Law Prevents Elon Musk And Grimes From Naming Newborn Baby X Æ A-12

by : Emily Brown on : 07 May 2020 14:41
Californian Law Prevents Elon Musk And Grimes From Naming Newborn Baby X Æ A-12Elon Musk/Twitter

Elon Musk and Grimes announced they were naming their newborn ‘X Æ A-12’, but a Californian law means the parents might have to rethink their choice.

Musk took to Twitter to announce the arrival of his new son Monday, May 4, though when he revealed the child’s name, many of his followers wondered whether he was being serious.


Singer Grimes, whose real name is Claire Boucher, confirmed the name the following day and broke it down in an effort to explain the meaning behind it.

She tweeted:

X, the unknown variable
Æ, my elven spelling of Ai (love &/or Artificial intelligence)
A-12 = precursor to SR-17 (our favorite aircraft). No weapons, no defenses, just speed. Great in battle, but non-violent 🤍
(A=Archangel, my favorite song)


Musk later made a correction to his partner’s tweet, writing ‘SR-71, but yes’, though neither parent revealed how the name would be pronounced.

While some people speculated it would be ‘X Ash Archangel’, we may never know for sure as a family law attorney has pointed out the baby boy’s name won’t be accepted as valid in California.

Attorney David Glass told People:


In California, you can only use the ’26 characters’ of the English language in your baby name.

Thus, you can’t have numbers, Roman numerals, accents, umlauts or other symbols or emojis. Although an apostrophe, for a name like ‘O’Connor,’ is acceptable.

Elon Musk and Claire Elise Boucher aka GrimesPA Images

Glass went on to say that if Grimes and Musk submitted a birth certificate with X Æ A-12 as the baby’s name, it would be rejected and they would be asked to submit a new one.

The parents could appeal the rejection, though Glass said California has ‘been struggling with using symbols’ in names.


Though the stipulation isn’t technically a law, it is listed in a handbook issued by the California Department of Public Health’s office of vital records.

Glass continued:

They tried to change the [rule] back in 2014 to allow certain characters, accents or umlauts — those sorts of things — and the bill got dropped because [of the cost] to upgrade their computer systems to allow these accents.

Anything that has to be filed with the state, they have a handbook that includes this particular sentence that says the birth certificate must be filled out ‘using the 26 alphabetical letters of the English language’.

I don’t think you can say it’s illegal — it just won’t be accepted.


If Grimes and Musk attempted to stick with the name without it being accepted, the baby wouldn’t have an official name or birth certificate, which would prevent him from getting a social security number in future.

Elon MuskPA Images

Attorney Harry Nelson told Fox News the parents may be able to change the rule if they push for it, as it displays a disconnect between the advancements of technology and the law.

He said:

We see this clash constantly as technology allows us to do things the law never imagined, in healthcare where old laws become obstacles, and, in this case, with names.

Leave it to Elon Musk to be one of the first to push through the current limit on name creativity.

If Musk forces the issue, I expect the courts will rule in his favour to force a move beyond the constraints of our 26-letter alphabet.

It seems we’ll just have to wait and see what happens regarding their newborn’s name, though with the pair’s creativity and influence, they are a force to be reckoned with.

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Emily Brown

Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.

Topics: Celebrity, Baby, California, Elon Musk, Grimes, SpaceX, X Æ A-12


People and 2 others
  1. People

    Elon Musk and Grimes' Newborn's Name, X Æ A-12, Is Technically Legal but 'Won't Be Accepted'

  2. Fox News

    Elon Musk, Grimes' newborn’'s name, X Æ A-12, could hold up if challenged in court, legal expert says

  3. Grimes/Twitter