Man of the Week: Daddy Xi

The  comes from the Grass-Mud Horse Lexicon, a glossary of terms created by Chinese netizens and encountered in online political discussions. These are the words of China’s online “resistance discourse,” used to mock and subvert the official language around censorship and political correctness.

Xí Dàda 习大大

XiDada

Exchange student share their admiration for “Daddy Xi” in a People’s Daily video. (Source: People’s Daily via @tomgrundy)

Term of endearment for President .

In an effort to bring Xi closer to the people, state media often call him “Daddy Xi.” “Daddy” comes from the Shaanxi dialect of Mandarin. Xi’s father, Xi Zhongxun, was born in Shaanxi, so “daddy” is a nod to this heritage. It can also mean “uncle,” but either way connotes familiarity and warmth.

As President Xi arrived in Seattle on September 22, People’s Daily released a video of foreign exchange students sharing their love and admiration for “Daddy Xi”:

Netizens have riffed on “Daddy Xi” to highlight its patronizing tone. For instance, when hundreds of students at Beijing Normal University welcomed President Xi to campus with signs and cheers, some netizens remarked that these Xi fans “have everything but daddy.”

The “Daddy” in “Daddy Xi” is sometimes written with the single character 夶.

See also Dama Era.

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