Acronyms dictionary

SMH

or SMDH [es-em-(dee)-eych]

What does SMH mean?

Standing for shaking my head, SMH is an internet slang initialism variously used to convey disappointment, disapproval, frustration, or impatience.

Where does SMH come from?

Examples of SMH

SMDH, really...We probably don't deserve what could be the coolest bus stop in the world.
Yi Shu Ng, Mashable, March, 2017
I love having to ask vendors stupid questions because the boss asks me to do so #smh
@VegasCubsFan, February, 2017
literally what artist has a fanbase loyal enough to buy music they can download for free im smdh we are all slaves of capitalism
@saltkath, March, 2018
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Who uses SMH?

SMH is very frequently used in diverse forms of digital communication, especially in black internet communities. The abbreviation, however, is now widely familiar in internet culture—and common enough that some people will say SMH in their speech as they might LOL or OMG. SMH is also incorporated grammatically in text (e.g., I’m smh because of his antics).

The tone of SMH often implies an impatience with a perceived unnecessary stupidity of a person or process. SMH is often issued to preface what the user is disappointed or frustrated by (e.g., smh… My flight got cancelled and can’t be rebooked). GIFs of people shaking their heads captioned with smh are popular on GIF keyboards, and can be sent via text message or attached to tweets as a reaction image. The hashtags “#smh” and “#smdh” are popular ways to tag exasperation on social media.

SMH is also intensified, most commonly as smdh (shaking my damn head) but also smfh (shaking my fucking head), and smmfh (shaking my motherfucking head).

Less often, SMH will stand for so much hate, showing or commenting on disdain, or scratching my head, used for puzzlement. The internet slang is not be confused with the common abbreviation of the Australian newspaper, The Sydney Morning Herald.

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Note

This is not meant to be a formal definition of SMH like most terms we define on Dictionary.com, but is rather an informal word summary that hopefully touches upon the key aspects of the meaning and usage of SMH that will help our users expand their word mastery.