When a billionaire space entrepreneur and a shape-shifting synth-pop auteur have a baby boy, you can be pretty sure they're not going to call him Noel.
Tesla founder Elon Musk and musician Grimes welcomed their first child earlier this week and there was widespread confusion when Musk told his 33.7 million Twitter followers they had named him X Æ A-12.
"Are we being trolled?" asked the sceptics. "How do you pronounce it?" asked the purists. Meanwhile, the cryptographic super-sleuths were on the case, trying to work out what exactly Grimes meant when she shared the meaning of the name. 'X' refers to "the unknown variable", in case you're interested.
Before we go any further, we should take a moment to celebrate the birth of X Æ A-12 and the fact that two people who wanted to name their child after an AI prototype have found one another. Finding someone who lets you fly your freak flag isn't easy, so good for them.
At the same time, we should take a moment to consider what their baby name choice means for the rest of us. Granted, we're hardly going to see X Æ A-12 in the upper rankings of the CSO's most popular babies' names list in 2025, but we'd be foolish to think that it won't have an impact.
When celebrities push the boundaries with baby names, we follow suit. Take for instance the names Bob Geldof and Paula Yates gave their girls - Pixie, Peaches and Fifi Trixibelle.
Grimes and Elon Musk at the Met Gala (Charles Sykes/Invision/AP/REX/Shutterstock)
Those names sounded utterly outlandish 30-odd years ago, but it could be argued they led the trend for whimsical, pastoral baby names like Willow, Ivy and Poppy.
Likewise, we can probably thank the Beckhams and their ostentatiously urban baby name choices (Brooklyn, Romeo, Cruz, Harper) for the sudden spate of Dexters, Jaydens, Kaydens, Masons and Jorjas.
The name X Æ A-12 doesn't exactly roll off the tongue, but it will certainly make some parents reconsider the linear arrangement of vowels and consonants. At the very least, it will probably inspire a deluge of names that have the X-factor. Xavier, Xanadra, Xena and whatever you're having yourself.
By naming their child after a dystopian cryptocurrency key code, Musk and Grimes have opened the rest of us up to a whole new world of possibilities. And that only adds to the pressure that's already on parents to conjure up the uncommon.
Choosing a baby name amidst the cult of individualism isn't easy. It has to suit the child and the adult they will become. It has to fit the surname and please the in-laws. It has to be contemporary but not trendy, strong but not hulking.
Above all else, it has to be distinctive. And that's challenging - partly because parents are in a race with every other parent to come up with a name that bucks the trend and partly because like-minded people are generally exposed to the exact same social media filter bubble.
In other words, when your child reaches junior infants and there are three other Milos in his class, you can safely assume their parents saw the exact same Instagram post that you did.
The stakes are so high these days for an uncommon baby name that the best bet is to choose something refreshingly, aggressively, ordinary. Mary or John should do the trick.
The only other option is to find a name that pushes the boundaries and ensures that your child is the only X Æ A-12 on your street.
And that's where things get tricky. A unique baby name will certainly make your child stand out from the crowd, but what if they grow into an adult who would much prefer to blend in?
What if they would rather not correct the pronunciation of every single person who attempts to read their name out loud? And what if they'd actually quite like to find their name on a keyring or mug in a petrol station shop?
A child with an unusual name may feel the weight of expectation that an extraordinary name carries. He may feel like he has to live up to its uniqueness.
Give a child an ordinary name, however, and he'll have the freedom to make a name for himself.