Sadaf is a 16-year-old high school student from Massachusetts. She told BuzzFeed News her parents are originally from Afghanistan, and her name is a pretty common first name in South Asia and parts of the Middle East.
"It translates to 'mother of pearl' or 'seashell,'" Sadaf explained. "My name was originally supposed to be something else but it was changed at the last minute."
(She didn't want to include a photo of her face or her social media accounts to try to relieve some of the attention she's been getting for simply being named what she was named).
About a year and half ago, she said she started hearing a lot of jokes at school, and online, about her name. They were all essentially the same joke.
"Usually, I get roughly around two or three DMs a day about my name," Sadaf said, sending BuzzFeed News an exhausting collection of screenshots from her inbox.
"Damn why you sad there is no need," "Girl what's wrong," "Why you sad tho," "Why are you sad," "Are you OK?" are only a small sampling of the messages she gets from strangers every day.
"The joke doesn't really bother me," Sadaf said, although she has gotten into the routine of ignoring the bulk of them.
"Some DMs are pretty weird, like some random guy messaged me just yesterday and was like, 'You're Sadaf but I bet if I clapped them cheeks it'd make you Happyaf.'"
"It's kinda getting old now," she added.
She's even had to mute these variations of words and phrases on Twitter.
But she does get a good chuckle every once in awhile. She now considers this random and weird phenomenon in her own inbox a meme. "I love all the funny things people send me and I always share them with my close friends," she said.
But for anyone who has direct messaged her, or plans to, Sadaf wants you to know: "If you're going to DM me about my name, try to be original and not copy and paste bland jokes."
This is officially a PSA.
And probably a PSA for anyone who is named "Sadaf," really.
Tanya Chen is a social news reporter for BuzzFeed and is based in New York.
Contact Tanya Chen at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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