What Does SMH Mean

Shaking my head’ at this abbreviation

what does smh mean

The world progresses fast and to keep up with its pace, the human race is finding ways to reduce the time taken to do simple everyday tasks. Our grandmothers washed clothes with soaps and a bucketful of water taking hours to rub off stains; whereas we press one button on a washing machine, and there we have it! Clothes all washed and dried even.

Taking the same context, the internet has its load of innovations every once in awhile. GIFs became popular, followed by vines, and then came the world of memes.

And not to mention, to save time in writing, the internet world has brought forth acronyms or abbreviations. Some of these are more commonly used or know like ‘lol’ (laugh out loud) or omg (oh my God) that are used to indicate laughter on something humorous or to explain surprise respectively. From the less popular acronyms, let’s talk about ‘smh’.

What does smh mean?

‘Shaking my head’ is the full version of the acronym smh. It is basically used to indicate disgust, disagreement or disappointment in someone’s action. Like in real life, if we are displeased with an incident or person, we simply shake our head to show our feelings.

The same frame of mind is displayed with writing smh. As an example, a person uploads a picture doing a task that you find awful. Only commenting smh underneath shows your displeasure.

Where did it begin?

There’s no confirmation, but it is said that smh began in the African-American community. Some online surveys also revealed that their African-American users mostly use this term as opposed to the other users. However, there’s very limited knowledge of how it began.

As much as we know, it might as well had been started by a wife who was furious at why her husband had tagged her in a bad photo!

shaking my head

Why do people use smh?

Social media may have given its users a platform to voice their opinions freely, but it has also given them the unruly liberty of ridiculing or insulting any other person’s sentiments without any limitations. The use of smh began when people wanted to insult the other person i.e. it is not used as an acronym of positive gesture but is exactly the opposite.

Secondly, as mentioned before, the internet world demands conciseness. People do not have enough time to write a paragraph on how and why they differ with a person’s idea, and by simply writing the three letters ‘smh’ they are successful in conveying their disagreement efficiently and effortlessly.

Thirdly, teenage is the era of life where children are trying very hard to fit into the ‘cool’ crowd. Henceforth, they bring in more acronyms, more internet sensations, and improvements to ‘make their mark’ in the teenage world. Words like smh just portray how insanely funky they are!

Lastly, text messages and Twitter updates (soon) have limited characters. So people try to fit in as much as they can while keeping it short. In such cases, these abbreviations are very fitting to the difficult situation.

Is that the only meaning?

When something gains access to the internet, it does not only remain the creator’s property. Similarly, someone may have decided that smh stands for shaking my head but once the public got hold of it the meaning got molded person to person.

Some other uses of smh have come forth as well. ‘So much hate’ is one extended form used to, again, indicate abhorrence towards something for instance: the weather is horrible, smh.

Another meaning is ‘So many haters’, used to show that some particular action has a lot of hate coming towards it e.g. her new movie has smh. ‘Scratching my head’ yet another meaning, showing that you’re thinking or contemplating a topic i.e. did the egg come first or the chicken?

Smh! It can also be translated to some very abusive and slang language terms which are not in use by the common public but are considered dirty meanings.

easy way to learn about smh

Can anything positive come out of this?

Everything in this world comes with shortcomings, but that does not mean that there is no silver lining to it. Smh may be used as a symbol of disgust, but the proper use of this acronym can help people understand the difference between right and wrong.

If a child uploads a revealing selfie, a mother’s smh commented under can immediately make them realize their fault. Or if a person is promoting hate towards an ethnicity or culture, a group of individuals tagging him as ‘smh’ can induce in his mind that his action is not up to the mark of a civilized individual.

In a parallel universe:

In a world where we are being cornered by hate speech, cultural clashes, and religious mishaps, it would be an individual’s responsible for doing his/her part in lessening as much agitation as they can. If you feel intimidated or upset by anyone’s action, you will only brew more hate by commenting with an smh.

It would be much better to take a few moments and express your disagreement in softer words so that the other person also understands your point instead of flaring up in response to your ‘smh.’

These acronyms may make us look trendy, but they do create divides. You know what they say; nothing ruins a relationship better than texting. Because what you write is not always how you wanted to say it.

In conclusion:

Language is something man created and it shall evolve at even a faster rate than humankind itself. Every day, every region, every culture spews out new words, new slangs, new ‘cool’ terms every once in a while.

It may not be possible to come up with all of these, but those that gain enough substance onto them pave their way onto the internet, and there’s no stopping to it! Who knows? By a few years, we all might be talking only in acronyms! Sigh. Smh!

Misconceptions and Extensions:

A communal misapprehension is that it stands for So Much Hate. How this error occurs online is comprehensible, because both the terms are used to indicate loathe towards something or showing disrespect.

Thereby, the more aggressive people are inclining to turn this simple shaking my head abbreviation into a lot worse.

There are many Internet acronyms that are derivative from, or else connected with SMH. These include:

  • SMDHShaking My Damn Head. This makes it a level ahead by adding a minor slang. Well, if something is a little more annoying than you can take, maybe write smdh! (But in a way, you are actually insulting your own head, if you get what I mean!)
  • SMGDHShaking My God Damn Head. This is for people who like a little profanity but cannot post it onto people’s profiles that are otherwise their friends or colleagues. It will put forth a high level of abhorrence towards someone, but still not enough to sound wrong or start up a serious fight. And you stay within internet limits!
  • SMHIDShaking My Head In Disperse. Take it up a notch for the literary fellas! Sometimes we all want to sound a bit more sophisticated and especially towards people we think are less intellectual than us. What better than to show off your disagreement to someone than writing smhid? Point made yet very classy.
  • SMHLShaking My Head Laughing. This one’s a little mean, to be honest. This shows that you not only disagree with whatever is posted but you also laugh at the thinking. It is pure scorn and this should be avoided because in any case, everyone is entitled to their own opinion.

Using It Correct and Finding Actual Life Instances:

This abbreviation doesn’t come with any instructions.It can be typed in capital letters or small letters as per what you want,coupled with a full sentence or even solely.

The basic purpose, as told before is to add a more dramatic response that words solely can’t actually do. And in addition, “smh” is loads easier and quicker than inputting, “Right now, I am shaking my head in skepticism” or somewhat analogous statements.

SMH is used in a variety of settings in the world of internet and you can look it up your preferred social networks like Instagram or Facebook.

All of these sites will really help you out aspersons with highlighted profiles and pages use the word or label in their columns.

Ellipses and shortened words are part of a huge fashion in online societies or personal texting aren’t time-consuming all the while also putting in an additional expressive comeback that is definitely challenging to express with verses only.

The fast moving generation endures to grip mobile web cruising and rapid texting, you can expect trends like “smh,” “idc”, “fomo” and the complete scope of tiny words to pave way into your average virtual use, coupled with new fangled terms that will undoubtedly spring out in the yet to come time!


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I like to learn new things and discover new skills,I love to write on a variety of topics including, DIY projects, healthy living, gardening, eco-friendly living.



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