What does SMH mean? How to use the common acronym

Internet slang is always changing, but there are a few staples that don’t look like they’re going anywhere soon. 

One of those is SMH. The three little letters are basically classic online lingo now. So, here’s everything you need to know about SMH before you look like a noob on social media.

What does SMH mean?

The letters stand for “shake my head” or “shaking my head.”

According to Merriam-Webster, “SMH is what some would insist is an initialism (an abbreviation formed from initial letters).”

Meanwhile, Urban Dictionary’s earliest entry for SMH dates back to 2004

It defines the term as the “acronym for ‘shake my head’ or ‘shaking my head’ and notes that it’s “usually used when someone finds something so stupid, no words can do it justice.”

How is SMH used? 

SMH is used in ordinary chatter like other internet shorthands such as LOL or WTF.

According to How to Geek, “It’s used to express disappointment or disbelief in the face of what’s perceived as glaringly obvious stupidity or extremely obliviousness.”

Some examples of SMH on TikTok

The hashtag #SMH currently has 1.7 billion views on TikTok.

The user @.dollface.xo used #SMH to express her dismay at unwittingly eating gummies … with melatonin.

Another user who goes by @doodler85 had a #SMH moment when her oven made her cake collapse. She turned things around by making cake pops. 


🚨psa🚨 if you got a custom puzzle in april and it had a missing piece, i might have it #puzzle #puzzlecomplete #quarantine #smh

♬ original sound – sapdary

Meanwhile, @sapdary shook her head when her custom puzzle came with an extra piece.

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If you enjoyed this story, find out what “no cap” means.

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