Sad news for fans of celebrities naming their children bonkers monikers: Grimes (real name Claire Boucher) and Elon Musk probably won’t be able to legally call their child ‘X Æ A-12’.
According to family law attorney David Glass, who spoke with People Magazine, the child’s unorthodox name is unlikely to be accepted as “valid” by the state of California (try planet Mars, they might be more understanding”.
"In California, you can only use the '26 characters' of the English language in your baby name," Glass said.
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.
If Grimes and Musk insist on including the numbers, dashes and symbols, X Æ A-12’s birth certificate will be rejected and they’ll be asked to resubmit it, explains Glass.
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.
Although this example is particularly unusual, Glass says that regulations governing baby names in California desperately need updating, as names with accents and umlauts (like José) can’t be recognised.
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.
However, X Æ A-12’s name isn’t illegal per se — the rule is only written in a handbook, not into legislation — but it just won’t be accepted.
In a Twitter post, Grimes explained the meaning behind the name choice.
‘X’ was the “unknown variable”, she wrote, before outlining that the ‘Æ’ is drawn from the “elven spelling of AI”, while “A-12” is both a nod to her and Musk’s “favourite aircraft” and stands for the Chinese zodiac sign of the rat.
While no one is quite sure how to pronounce the newborn’s name yet, Business Insider had a stab at breaking down the tongue twister, announcing their “best guess” would be saying it as “Ecks Ai Archangel”.
Maybe just ‘Archie’ for the birth certificate?