News & Politics

The Baby Panda Has a Name

Meet Xiao Qi Ji

Photograph courtesy Smithsonian's National Zoo.

When the newest baby panda was born at the National Zoo on August 21, in the middle of a hellish 2020, many Washingtonians viewed it as a miracle. And now it’s official: the panda’s name will be Xiao Qi Ji (SHIAU-chi-ji), a Mandarin Chinese term that translates as “little miracle” in English.

The name was chosen through public voting—just under 135,000 people weighed in, choosing from a list of four names released by the zoo. Since Xiao Qi Ji was born three months ago, more than 1.5 million people have watched him on the Giant Panda cam.

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Executive Editor

Sherri Dalphonse joined Washingtonian in 1986. She is the editor in charge of such consumer topics as travel, fitness, health, finance, and beauty, as well as the editor who handles such cover stories as Great Places to Work, Best of Washington, Day Trips, Hidden Gems, Top Doctors, and Great Small Towns. She lives in DC.