Why Elon Musk's bizarre baby name could be illegal

Penny Burfitt
Lifestyle & Entertainment Producer

Elon Musk and singer Grimes baffled the world with a beyond-bizarre baby name choice this week, and it turns out it could very well be illegal.

The Canadian musician, real name Claire Boucher, welcomed her first baby with her Tesla and SpaceX CEO partner Elon Musk, his sixth on Tuesday in California.

Elon Musk and Grimes' controversial baby name may not fly with the law. Photo: Getty Images

The Tesla CEO took to Twitter to announce the arrival and share the strange name. The baby boy will be called ‘X Æ A-12 Musk’.

It turns out however, that in California the name is unlikely to be approved over a major violation of the rules.

It turns out a name cannot feature characters outside of the alphabet.

The California Department of Public Health Vital Records Handbook clarifies that the name can only use the alphabet, with some punctuation allowed.

"The form is to be completed using the 26 alphabetical characters of the English language," the handbook reads, with accents and hyphenated last names being some exceptions.

Legal issues

It looks like little Musk’s ‘a-12’ segment may not fly with the law, neither the Æ which is not a standard English alphabetical character.

"In California, you can only use the '26 characters' of the English language in your baby name," a US lawyer David Glass told People.

"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.

There has been some understandable confusion around the name, not least between the new parents themselves.

Eyebrows were raised when Elon crashed Grimes’ detailed description of her firstborn’s name with a correction.

Grimes wrote out the various meanings and symbols behind the name in a post:

“X, the unknown variable,”she wrote.

“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 favourite song.”

Elon couldn’t help but correct his baby’s mother however, pointing out she flipped the aircraft’s numbers.

“SR-71, but yes,” he wrote.

“I am recovering from surgery and barely alive so may my typos b forgiven but, damnit.  That was meant to be profound,” she responded.

The tense exchange is just another heated reaction to the news and name, which many are still struggling to pronounce.

It’s not yet clear if the name has been added to any official birth certificate, and whether it has been accepted.

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