What Does SMH Mean and How Can You Use It?


Internet slang comes and goes, but some terms stick around for years. One such example is the abbreviation SMH, which you’ll see appearing in tweets, instant messages, texts, and status updates. But what does SMH mean? And when can you use it?

In this article, we’ll explain everything you need to know about this common slang abbreviation.

What Does SMH Mean?

In texting and writing, SMH stands for “shaking my head”. The term expresses disappointment, embarrassment, or bafflement regarding a specific topic or piece of information. If someone responds to a text or tweet with “SMH”, they’re expressing disappointment at the content of the message.

People also tweak SMH slightly to add emphasis. The most common form of this is SMDH, which stands for “shaking my damn head”. But you can also find other examples such as SMFH, with the F being a common curse word.

Another less common meaning of SMH, according to Dictionary.com, is “so much hate”. However, this usage is relatively rare. You should be able to tell by the context of a message. But when in doubt, “shaking my head” is the dominant (and therefore most likely) meaning.

When to Use SMH

SMH is an example of textspeak, so you don’t use it in spoken conversation. Rather, you’ll see it across social network posts and in text messages. Other than this limitation, its usage is pretty flexible. Usually, it will appear at the beginning or end of a sentence, but it can even appear in place of a comma or period.

You can use it in reaction to something you’ve seen or heard online, as part of a post sharing your feelings on a topic, or as a standalone comment. Basically, you can use it as part of any message or reaction where you would shake your head in disappointment.

Its usage is very similar to other acronyms like “WTH” (what the hell), though SMH expresses a lesser degree of disappointment. You can also use SMH in either its capitalized or lowercase form.

Examples of SMH

Like “LOL” or “Facepalm”, SMH is meant to communicate a real-life gesture or action that can’t be seen from behind a screen. This is why you’ll SMH in messages and posts that would usually accompany the gesture of physically shaking your head in disappointment. Considering there isn’t currently an emoji or emoticon

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expressing this gesture, SMH is still very common in texting and tweeting.

Depending on context, SMH can be used in a humorous way or as a genuine expression of disappointment.

If you’re still unsure of how to use SMH, here are a few examples of SMH being used in a sentence:

  • “SMH who buys a T-shirt for $500? Some people have money to burn…”
  • “My boyfriend thinks Yoda is from Star Trek. SMH I’ve failed in my nerdy duties.”
  • “The neighbors are partying late again while I’m trying to sleep SMH.”
  • “You’d think my cat would appreciate this expensive tuna SMH but apparently it’s not good enough.”

Other Slang Words to Know

SMH is just one of many examples of online slang abbreviations. As language reacts to technologies and online platforms, there’s an ever-growing list of new words and phrases that shows no sign of slowing down.

So, now you know what SMH means and how to use, you should check out our guide to internet slang terms

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Explore more about: Instant Messaging, Jargon, SMS.

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