The twin giant panda cubs are fast approaching their 100-day birthday naming ceremony, and you can help decide the outcome

By Sheila Cosgrove Baylis
Updated October 11, 2013 05:00 PM

If you’re still going through panda cam withdrawal in the wake of the government shutdown, here’s something to take the edge off: The twin giant panda cubs at Zoo Atlanta need names – and you can help!

The male cubs, born to mom Lun Lun, are now 87-days-old and the zoo intends to name them on their 100th day in accordance with a Chinese tradition that is said to bring about good luck. The two are currently referred to as “Cub A” and “Cub B.”

In keeping with the pandas’s Chinese heritage, possible names were derived from ancient Chinese idioms and provided to the zoo by the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding. Voting ends Oct. 21 at noon via

Here are the nominees:

• Mei Lun and Mei Hua (pronounced May Loon and May Hwaa) – These names mean “Lun Lun’s twin cubs born in the U.S.”
• Mei Lun and Mei Huan (pronounced May Loon and May Hwaan) – Though it sounds a lot like the first choice, it means something entirely different: “indescribably beautiful and magnificent.”
• Tian Lun and Tian Le (pronounced Tee-an Loon and Tee-an Luh) – The exact translation is “Lun Lun and her twin cubs are enjoying heavenly gifted family happiness,” according to The Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding.
• Lan Tian and Bi Shui (pronounced Lan tee-an and Bee Shway) – These names refer to the “blue sky” and “clear water.”
• Dan Lan and Xiao Lan (pronounced Dah Lan and Sheow Lan) – The literal translations mean “bigger one” and “smaller one.”

To get to know the cubs better before casting your vote, check them out on Zoo Atlanta’s panda cam, which remains unaffected by the government shutdown.