What should the National Zoo panda cub be named? (#namethepanda)

Watch live video of Mei Xiang:

The National Zoo’s female giant panda Mei Xiang gave birth to a long-awaited cub last night, generating a new wave of “panda-monium” and a very important question: What will the panda cub be named?

Traditionally, the National Zoo’s pandas have been given meaningful names. Mei Xiang (may-SHONG) means “beautiful fragrance,” according to the zoo.


Mei Xiang. (Sarah L. Voisin/The Washington Post)

Tai Shan (tie-SHON), Mei Xiang and Tian Tian’s first cub, means “peaceful mountain.”

According to Chinese tradition, Tai Shan wasn’t named until he was 100 days old. His name was chosen among five possibilities, all traditional Chinese names that had been approved by the China Wildlife Conservation Association, through an online poll run by the National Zoo.

More than 200,000 votes were cast. “Tai Shan” was the winner, but the cub came to be known in Washington by his nickname, Butterstick, based on the zoo’s description that he was the size of a stick of butter.

Following the 100-day rule, it would be Dec. 25 before the new cub, whose gender remains a mystery, is given an official name.

Tell us: What do you think the panda should be named? Share your suggestions in the comments below and on Twitter using #namethepanda.

Read more about the panda cub’s clandestine birth.

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