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Have everything but Daddy

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wǔ xíng què diē 五行缺爹

Students at Beijing Normal University hold up banners to welcome Xi Jinping. (Source: Weibo)

Sarcastic riff on Daddy Xi, state media's nickname for Xi Jinping; takedown of people who slavishly adore Xi.

"Have everything but Daddy" is a play on the traditional Chinese concept of the five elements (wǔ xíng 五行) including gold, wood, water, fire, and earth. If someone lacks one of the five elements by birth, he or she must make up the difference by incorporating that element into his or her life in other ways.

Netizens coined "have everything but Daddy" as a response to official use of a colloquial term of endearment for the leader. In an effort to bring Xi closer to the people, state media often call him Daddy Xi (Xí Dàda 习大大). Dàda comes from the Shaanxi dialect of Mandarin. Xi's father, Xi Zhongxun, was born in Shaanxi, so dàda is a nod to the Xi family heritage. Dàda can also mean "uncle," but either way connotes familiarity and warmth. When ordinary citizens give Xi a sycophantic reception, netizens will joke that these devotees "have everything but daddy."

In celebration of China's 30th Teachers' Day in September 2014, Xi Jinping visited Beijing Normal University. State media focused on the rockstar reception Xi enjoyed. Five hundred students and teachers gathered to welcome the president to campus. China Youth Daily reported students shouted slogans like "The Secretary-General has worked hard for us!" (总书记辛苦了!). One teacher said Xi's reception was like a "superstar concert."

On September 10, 2014, Weibo user @AKTulip responded sarcastically to the rockstar treatment of President Xi, "If you don't know what 'daddy' means in dialect, look it up on Baidu. Shouting in the streets like this, do you have everything but Daddy?" (方言里“大大”什么意思不懂可以去百度,这样满街乱叫,你们是五行缺爹吗?)