Another way to exercise your vote on Tuesday: Help name the National Zoo’s panda cub

BY newsdesk  November 5, 2013 at 3:41 PM EDT


Creative commons photo via Smithsonian’s National Zoo flickr account

The Smithsonian National Zoo is democratically opening up the naming process for the female panda cub born five months ago to Mei Xiang.

Voters have until Nov. 22 to choose between five Mandarin Chinese names. (Sorry, “Fluffy” and “Snuggles” won’t be accepted as write-in options.)

  • Bao Bao (bow-BOW): precious or treasure
  • Ling Hua (ling-HWA): darling or delicate flower
  • Long Yun (long-YOON): a symbol of luck for panda cooperation between the U.S. and China
  • Mulan (moo-LAHN): the name of a legendary Chinese warrior woman from the 5th century and means magnolia flower
  • Zhen Bao (jen-BAO): treasure or valuable

According to a statement from the National Zoo, the cub’s name will be unveiled December 1, which is when the cub will be 100 days old — the time babies are celebrated in Chinese culture.

If you’re in need of naming inspiration, the popular and adorable Panda Cam may help, now that it’s back. Or it may ruin your productivity for the rest of the day.