What does SMH mean?

Shaking my head

When you see ‘SMH’ being used online or in text messages, it’s a way for people to show that they’re either upset, surprised, or can’t believe what has occurred. Think of it as the digital version of shaking your head in disbelief or disappointment. For instance, if your friend tells you she forgot to turn off the stove again, you might respond with “SMH, on my way to help.”

The phrase ‘SMH’ is typically used when you’re so shocked or disappointed by something that you’re speechless, and all you can do is shake your head. It acts as a stand-in for sentiments like “I can’t believe this,” “Seriously?” or “Not again.”

The exact origin of ‘SMH’ is unknown, but it is believed to have started being used in the early 2000s when people began texting and chatting online more frequently. Its popularity soared in the early 2010s with the rise of social media platforms. Today, it is commonly used on sites like Twitter and Reddit to express disbelief or disagreement.

Example for using ‘SMH’ in a conversation

Ugh, I just got another parking ticket. SMH.

Seriously? How did that happen?

I accidentally parked in a loading zone. Didn’t realize until it was too late.

SMH. You need to be more careful next time.