What is SMH?

Have you ever received a text message or comment with ‘SMH’ in it? It's a popular online acronym. Merriam-Webster dictionary elaborates it as "shaking my head".

In social media posts or text messages, ‘SMH’ is the slang often used to express the physical body language of shaking your head in disappointment, resignation, disagreement, disbelief, and frustration.

More About SMH

SMH began in online chat rooms and message boards before becoming famous on social media for describing head-shaking situations with simplicity and universal recognition. SMH was initially added to the Urban Dictionary in 2004. The dictionary explains the word as anything said in response to a dumb behavior that no words can adequately describe.

Over 11 years, it has received over 20,100 upvotes and 10,400 downvotes. SMH is now used in memes, GIFs, and photographs.

Correct Usage

There are no obligations regarding uppercase, lowercase, or attaching it with a phrase. It just requires you to know the context in which it is used to avoid any misinterpretation. It is a shortcut to express disagreement when sentences alone do not communicate it.

  • An ignorant or offensive comment or message can get a ‘SMH’ as a response.
  • In a disagreement, you can also use “SMH” to express frustration with a situation or decision.
  • It can also be used on social media informally to express a negative reaction to someone or something.

Look at a practical, informal usage of SMH where the X(Twitter) platform user is expressing disbelief on how the football player missed an easy catch by adding an SMH hashtag.


Frequently Asked Questions

What should you keep a check on while using SMH or any other slang?

If you use slang, remember that not everyone will understand what it means. Older folks and those who merely use the internet and social media will not know them. Think about the people you're interacting with, as well as your connection with them, while anticipating if they'll be able to figure out the meaning of such jargon quickly.

Can I use SMH in social media marketing?

Shaking My Head (SMH) should be applied carefully and appropriately when it concerns marketing. It is informal and might appear unprofessional if used excessively.

How to use SMH in a casual way?

SMH can be useful in casual, relatable content that matches your audience's tone. Make sure it doesn't come across as insulting or insensitive.

Give examples of SMH in a casual way.

Some examples of using SMH in a casual way:

  • "Alice and Jane got back together? SMH"
  • "The man is not loyal to his wife. SMH."
  • "Pizzas are too expensive. SMH."

Can I use SMH formally?

As "SMH" (Shaking My Head) is a common informal term in text messaging and online conversations, it wouldn't necessarily be acceptable in formal written or oral communication. In formal contexts, it is best to utilize complete and clear terminology. You should look for more formal ways to convey dissatisfaction or disapproval.

For example, if you are expressing disapproval in a meeting:

  • Instead of saying: "SMH, I can't believe we have to reconsider this matter again."
  • Say: "I'm disappointed that we have to reconsider this matter once more."

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