California will not allow Elon Musk & Grimes to name their baby X Æ A-12 Musk

Grimes and Elon Musk at the Costume Institute Benefit at the Metropolitin Museum of Art at the opening of 'Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination' in New York City

I always know that certain stories are going to be big news and big comment-generators, but sometimes I’m genuinely surprised by which stories become some big flashpoint for a week. So it is with Elon Musk and Grimes’ baby name. Elon Musk has been on a sh-tlist for a while, completely unrelated to his bonkers baby name. I sh-tlisted him for all of the shenanigans around the pandemic and lockdown – at no point did he take any of it seriously, and just last week, he was tweeting sh-t about “freeing America” as Nazis stormed state capital buildings. There was also the sh-t with the (lack of) ventilators.

Anyway, my point is that the “baby name” issue is merely the latest shenanigan for an out-of-touch billionaire. Elon and Grimes both claimed that they named their newborn son X Æ A-12. I thought it was a joke when Elon tweeted it, but then Grimes doubled down and so I guess they really are trying that sh-t. Joke’s on them though – the state of California (where little X Æ A-12 was born) wants no part in this name.

Elon Musk and Grimes can call their newborn baby son whatever they want, but on his birth certificate, X Æ A-12 is a no-go … TMZ has learned. According to a supervisor at the Department of Public Health Vital Records Office in Los Angeles — where the baby is believed to have been born — it is against California law to include numbers or symbols in a name.

The law states names must only include the 26 letters of the English alphabet … obviously, the name Musk and Grimes are claiming for their boy does not meet that criteria.

[From TMZ]

People Magazine also did some research with a family-law specialist who explained the California laws:

Two days after Elon Musk and Grimes announced the arrival of their son and shared his unique name — X Æ A-12 — PEOPLE spoke with David Glass, a family law attorney who explains that while the baby boy’s name isn’t technically illegal, it won’t be accepted as valid by the state.

“In California, you can only use the ’26 characters’ of the English language in your baby name,” he explains. “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.” Glass says that if the new parents filled out X Æ A-12′s birth certificate at the hospital “with the odd numbers, dashes and symbols, it will be submitted and then rejected and they’ll be asked to submit it again. They have an opportunity to appeal the rejection of the birth certificate application but it’s unlikely that it will be granted because, again, California … has been struggling with using symbols,” he adds.

“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,” he tells PEOPLE.

Glass, who also holds a PhD in clinical psychology, clarifies that the rule isn’t technically a law but is listed in a handbook issued by the California Department of Public Health’s office of vital records. “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,’ ” he says. “I don’t think you can say it’s illegal — it just won’t be accepted. So your child won’t have an official name and won’t have a birth certificate and you can’t get a social security number until you have a birth certificate and on down the line.”

[From People]

Fair enough – I think it’s a good rule to weed out the nutty tryhards like Elon and Grimes, although America is a nation of immigrants and I would imagine that some people legitimately want to name their kids something with an accent or umlaut officially. I guess this means that all of those Chloes and Zoes were never OFFICIALLY Chloés or Zoës. So, back to the drawing board for little X Æ A-12 Musk. They probably will go bonkers with the rename. Ash Metal Rat Drone Archangel Umlaut Musk, here we come.

elon baby

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, social media.

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75 Responses to “California will not allow Elon Musk & Grimes to name their baby X Æ A-12 Musk”

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  1. Molly says:

    If they like that name so much, then change their own names to that. Don’t treat your kid as an extension of your ego.

    • Seraphina says:

      Exactly.

      Our tradition is to name after our parents. I was asked why my kids have such “old fashioned names”. And my kids LOVE their names because they say there is meaning behind their names.

    • Kaykay says:

      Wow, well said! Never thought of that as a solution.

    • K says:

      Yeah, I have an unusual name that’s been difficult for people around me to pronounce or spell correctly my entire life, and it is such a headache. Every time I start a new job or meet new people, I brace myself for the hassle and extra effort it will take getting people to learn it. My parents, with their boring, conventional names, thought it would be fun or something… but they were wrong. This Musk baby will hate his parents, cause they’re ridiculous.

  2. Erinn says:

    It’s one of those things that makes sense – but can they really stop them from using umlauts and things like that? It’s actually a bit of a farce because they allow like O’Connell but not an accent or umlaut? That seems a little bit… culturally insensitive for California.

    • Alarmjaguar says:

      It seems like it has a lot to do with computer searches (now, it may have been about culture when the rule first went in), I can only imagine the tech headaches…

      • Erinn says:

        I mean I get that. But at the same time the article I had read seemed like d’Entremont or O’Connell or other names with ‘ were fine. So if they can have the apostrophe I don’t see how it would be any different for searching.

      • schmootc says:

        As an IT person, this causes ALL SORTS of problems with computers. We once had a user input an umlaut in our accounting database and our payroll didn’t go through because the bank kicked it back. (Banks always seem way behind everyone else in that respect, I’m guessing because they have to make sure everything is super secure before they make changes.)

      • pasquale says:

        It’s precisely this – it’s not ideal, obviously, because a name in Spanish with a ñ or a Swedish name with an å aren’t really the same without the proper letter BUT – imagine registering/trying to find records when you don’t know which databases use non-standard letters and which don’t. It just has to be that way – like if your name’s Олег, and you move to California, your name isn’t Олег in most American databases, it’s Oleg.

      • Erinn says:

        I work in IT too, guys, I understand how a computer works 😂

        The thing that annoys me most is that they keep pushing the 26 English letters – but again, in the case of a name with an apostrophe, it’s actually allowed despite not being a letter.

        This would make a lot more sense if all states had the same guidelines, but they don’t, and I think that’s where my hangup is.

        What happens if you move from one of those states to California and need to update your documents – you just accept the fact that your name is no longer your name because you moved states?

        There are literally cities with diacritics in their names – even in states that don’t allow diacritics. I just think it’s so ridiculous that these states can make exceptions when it comes to park names, or city names, or what have you, but not someone’s ACTUAL name.

    • Jay (the Canadian one) says:

      Their computer systems probably predate Unicode. Those characters don’t exist in strict ASCII (though numbers and other punctuation did).

    • Happy-Fat-Mama says:

      I agree with Erinn. I am no expert, but I’ve heard tell that they have computers in France and Sweden too.

      • Jay (the Canadian one) says:

        Yeah but ASCII stands for American Standard Code for Information Interchange. i.e. it was an American thing. There were computers that had “international” character sets in the 70s but they didn’t agree from one system to the next. And considering the US government still needs COBOL programmers to make any changes to their systems, there’s a good chance their computers are still from the 70s.

  3. Kamala says:

    That’s big government for you, I guess. 😄

  4. FHMom says:

    This isn’t freedom of expression. It’s just ego and asshattery. Give the kid a real name and move on.

    • minx says:

      Thank you.

    • Jules says:

      ego and asshattery, indeed.

    • me says:

      Freedom to distort the way people perceive their baby. Posting images of a fetus with wings and horns, a photo shopped pic of the newborn with tattoos on his face, then coming out with this alien name. Shame on them both. Delusion can be an asset but not if it goes from a generation to another, you rocket man smart ass. It can turn fast into a liability.

  5. serena says:

    Thank god, that name was a disaster waiting to happen.

  6. Aang says:

    No accents or umlauts? How can that be? In NY I know several people, kids and adults with accents and umlauts. And what if your name is in a language that doesn’t use the Same alphabet? Russian, or Arabic, or Mandarin? The name is ridiculous but the law seems racist or at least ethnocentric.

    • Jenn says:

      Yeah, the law at least here in California is, by its design, ethnocentric and xenophobic. I imagine it’s just because the rest of our aging national infrastructure doesn’t “support” umlauts or other “special characters,” which can turn into a nightmare when one official document doesn’t *exactly* match another official document. (My husband was detained at U.S. Customs because his Italian surname had a space in it on his passport, but not on his ticket — the difference between “DiGiornio” and “DI GIORNIO.”) Obviously this law should be changed, but it probably requires that everything else also be updated and modernized. :/

      • Alarmjaguar says:

        You said it much better than I did. It is definitely both
        My husband’s name is hyphenated and that happens to him all the time (esp because there’s often not enough room for the full name so they drop the hyphen on tickets, etc)

  7. Jessi says:

    There are actually lots of rules by different states that limit baby names – my favorite is that in Florida, if mom & dad can’t agree on a name, a name can be chose for the baby by the court!

    This article runs down the rules (many of which are related to the limitations of the computer system):
    https://www.thebump.com/a/baby-name-rules

  8. terra says:

    Yeah, that’s a healthy relationship. The purity of their love jumps from those tweets.

  9. ItReallyIsYouNotMe says:

    Anyone else catch that Elon corrected her post. That would bug the s$*t out of me if , as she says, she’s recovering from a c section that birthed HIS baby. Elon may be one of those people who has to be the smartest person in the room, but correcting your baby’s mother in a public forum is not the recipe for success in a long term relationship.

    • Erinn says:

      It was douchey, but you know what? I don’t feel SUPER bad. She’s saying it’s THEIR favorite aircraft but she doesn’t even know which it is? I mean, everything about her just seems so over the top dramatic in order to be ~*~*~DiFfErEnt~*~*~ that it comes off as being just not even a little bit genuine. She replied back “damnit, that was supposed to be profound!” which just further cements that she’s made herself into a caricature of a human. I do feel sorry for her in terms of how difficult I’m sure he’d be as a spouse/partner/parent, but she willingly chose him as a partner, so I don’t know. It’s not like his attitude is some well kept secret. I think she’s just so obsessed with image that she’ll put up with it in order to be considered so ‘profound’.

    • JulieCarr says:

      He corrected it because the typo started trending high, she wasn’t online to correct it, and people were starting to pile on. He was just trying to stop her coming back to thousands of people in her mentions calling her a stupid POS for making a typo, and he did succeed in taking the steam out of that particular pile on.

      • Jenn says:

        Ugh, that makes sense — a brewing Twitter pile-on to harass the new mother. Of course. Thank you for this insight. God, imagine being so Online that your primary concern immediately after giving birth is what the comments section is saying. I can’t stand them, but I do feel bad for them.

  10. Ali says:

    They can name the kid “get back to work America”

    • Starkiller says:

      Sod off. Haven’t you got a Fox News program to watch?

      And just as a matter of practicality, neither of these egotistical jerks are American.

      • crowhood says:

        I read that comment as a sarcastic take on Elon’s gross comments regarding “opening America up”

        This name is a private school name. As in, you can only be named this when you know you’ll be attending private school for life.

  11. Jenn says:

    YEEESSSSS thank you for covering this. And the correction he tweeted at Grimes! What was that?!

  12. KellyRyan says:

    One of the many advantages of living in California, (and this may vary by county), is a strong social services department. Protection of the child is highly important. Most of us welcome diversity in culture and names. I agree with CA’s decision. This would not be best for the child.

  13. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    I say let them. We need shit to laugh about.

    • Noodle says:

      One of the funnier Reddit threads last night was discussing alternate pronunciations of the name. One poster explained that the letters and symbols spell out Kyle. Kyle Musk. It’s been a nice distraction.

  14. CidyKitty(CidySmiley) says:

    I took a vacation to his Twitter last night to see if I could get some hints as to spell this and all I can say is I came with an open mind and left disgusted. His “FREE AMERICA” tweet about the lockdown was full of doctors and Healthcare workers trying to tell him why social distancing was important and people were dying and his fans (nazis, bros, incels, and trump supporters) yelling at them and wishing death in them and silence from Musk. So hes.. heavily canceled.

    • Rae says:

      Ditto this. I unfollowed him after he started on about freeing America. I appreciate what Tesla and Space X are doing for the world, but Elon himself has proven to incredibly problematic.

  15. teehee says:

    TRYING TO BE PROFOUND

    Yeah, we know.

    Who is surprised— YOU??

    “we get it queen, you shave your eyebrows”

  16. manda says:

    I wonder if he fights it?

    Also, Mark-Paul Gosselaar has a hyphen

  17. Natalee says:

    They were both obviously trolling people who expected them to give their kid an insane name. They’re both terrible people and I feel bad for their offspring, but they did a good job on this gag.

  18. Branvoyage says:

    What a ridiculous ‘name’. That poor kid.

  19. GuestWho says:

    Why did he take his mask off for the photo? There are marks on his face indicating that he had been wearing it for a while – so was probably required to wear it. Was it that important to get his face in the photo that he put his newborn at risk?

    • Jenn says:

      Well… this photo was actually taken for a fan who had tweeted asking for a pic of father and child. Musk’s supporters are Extremely Online, and they have this weird thing about “trust, but verify,” so if Musk had been wearing the mask there would’ve been a deluge of “how do we know that’s you??” tweets. I’m not defending the decision to remove the mask even briefly, but I’m under the impression that’s why he did it.

    • JulieCarr says:

      Because he had to wear it in the operating theatre and the shared space of the hospital, but not in their private room?

      It’s his baby, it’s a member of his household, he doesn’t need to wear a mask to hold it. What new parent would want to keep a mask on when they cuddle and kiss and smell their baby for the first time?

  20. Cupcake says:

    That baby is so cute! Grimes mentioned the aircraft misstep was a typo because she was recovering from surgery. Baby must have been a c-section? C-section babies are the cutest and that baby is extra cute anyway!

  21. emmy says:

    Spelling of names can be a bitch, especially when you travel. I have an easy name, easily pronounced around the world (go my parents!) or most of the world. No second name etc., no umlaut. But we did sweat buckets during out first trip to the US when a family member, whose last name does have am umlaut, was unsure about his ESTA application (it’s changed with better instructions since then). No way to use it correctly on the application but of course it was in his passport. It was fine but you hear stories.

    So if I’m really generous I’ll say the state of California just wants to make it easier on everyone. But …. I don’t see it. Probably just haven’t updated their software to include special characters. Or don’t want those pesky “ethnic” names.

  22. Hyrule Castle says:

    What a horrible law.

    And don’t “it’s to protect children!” at me.

    It’s a law designed to uphold white supremacy.

    And it’s working.

    • CherryL says:

      What?! That’s ridiculous. Where I’m from you can’t just give your kid any name, it actually has to be name. If it’s a name from a foreign language you have to prove that it is a name somewhere. It actually is a law to protect children from their nutjob parents.

      • Hyrule Castle says:

        Oops!

        Your racism is creeping out; you might want to just tuck that back in.

      • Vera says:

        same where I am from (originally from Hungary). There is a list of approved names – a very big list so plenty of choice. If you want something that’s not on the list, you have to apply to be added to the list. Names used in other countries can be added easily.
        The only exceptions are if one of the parents are from another country and want to use a name from their country.
        Also names have to be spelled in phonetic Hungarian, so when someone wanted to call their kid Jennifer, they could do it, but it had to be spelled Dzsenifer.

        Many Hungarian names would be an issue in California though as we have 32 letters in the alphabet, with a lot or á , é ó ö etc…

    • Imara219 says:

      Speak the truth and shame the devil. Basically because of technology (computer input) we have this rule in place 😒

    • bobafelty says:

      The same rule is used to prevent white supremacist parents from naming their kids “Hitler.” It seems to just discriminate against a-hole parents.

      • Vera says:

        it bugs the hell out of me how Columbus is totally acceptable and even have a day of celebration, when he was an equal or possibly even worse genocidal torturous maniac than Hitler was

  23. Veronica S. says:

    I can get how it keeps idiots from naming their kids weird things, but it is very bizarre to me that things like accented or umlaut letters aren’t accepted considering how many immigrants America sees coming in or out. (Or even Roman numerals. How do you put in legacy names, then?)

  24. Travelin says:

    Does anyone know how that name is supposed to be pronounced? I’m at a loss.

  25. Prairiegirl says:
  26. Haha says:

    It’s weird to feel sorry for the child of billionaires…but I do.

  27. Other Renee says:

    No accents are allowed? Seriously? Hmmmm. I need to have a look at my CA birth certificate. My middle name has an accent and it never occurred to me that this might not actually be noted on the certificate. That would be a little disconcerting since my Mom used to go on and on about over which “e” the accent needed to be placed. 🤔 🤷‍♀️

    Oh and as to the Musk baby, STUPIDEST NAME ON THE PLANET. Take that, Mr. Space Travel, and shove it into your Mars rover.

  28. JulieCarr says:

    The problematic part (A-12) means Archangel and name is said as X A I (ex-ay-eye) Archangel, so I imagine they’ll just use that.

  29. Ann says:

    This whole story makes me irrationally angry. It is just so freaking douchey. The ahole level of these 2 people and this ahole name for a baby, an actual human baby, is too much. It isn’t clever or avant-garde or cool. It’s stupid and makes me think both of them are dumb douchebag asshats.

  30. Imara219 says:

    At first it seemed odd after a while I stopped caring. Why police what people name their babies as long as it is not violent, racism, or negative? Ultimately they could go with X, Ash or Archangel 🤷🏾‍♀️. All perfectly acceptable as names. Just reminds me of the stir from JayZs son being named Sir.

  31. Amelie says:

    I don’t think the accents and symbols thing is just CA law though. I was born in New Jersey but I bet if I could get my hands on my birth certificate, there is probably no accent in my name where there is supposed to be one. My name also has an accent, Amélie, but whenever I enter my name anywhere I don’t bother entering it because from past experience I know it will probably mess up the system because USA computer systems usually don’t account them so everywhere I am registered as just Amelie. I don’t even bother inserting here on Celebitchy but I sign off all e-mails and correspondence as Amélie.

    It is a bit annoying that the English language doesn’t have any accents as the accent isn’t just there for show, it affects how you pronounce my name but I don’t ruminate about it. However, I am glad Elon and Grimes will not be able to legally name their child that awful name. Wonder what they’ll come up with instead.

  32. Sumodo1 says:

    Kevin. Anything but some feckin’ algebra.

  33. TheOriginalMia says:

    So pretentious. Thank goodness someone stepped in and saved that child from his parents’ egos.

  34. Ashley says:

    If Elon wanted to get around it he could try buying the State or California new computers that can accept non English characters…

    But anyway it’s weird that Grimes had a c-section (guessing “surgery”) and is tweeting Musk who should be sitting right next to her?

  35. Eeeee says:

    My niece, Zoe, was not allowed to have the umlaut on her name. She was born in Ca.

  36. Tashiro says:

    Two more dumb asses.

  37. Keira Lee says:

    Such an easy thing to go around: X Æ A-TWELVE 🤷🏻‍♀️🤣 And well under 26 symbols