1. What does SMH stand for online and in messages?

Shaking my head

SMH is a common way to express disapproval, disagreement, or dumbfoundedness, similar to the facepalm term and emoji. People often use it in messages and online, especially on social sites like Twitter and Reddit.

SMH comes from the muted reaction to something so atrocious, disappointing, surprising, or stupid (typically brain farts) that you can't find the words to describe it; all you can do is shake your head. For example, if your brother texts you that he locked his keys in the car for the second time today and needs you to pick him up, you might respond with, "SMH. Be there in 10."

Origin of SMH

The origin of the slang term "SMH" is unclear, but it dates back to the early 2000s when texting and Internet chatting exploded in popularity. Its use then grew exponentially in the early 2010s on social media. Now, it's become one of the most common slang terms for saying, "I disagree," "I can't believe it," or "Not again..."


The media coverage on this story is just ridiculous. SMH
IKR? So one-sided

SMH means shaking my head

Related Slang


Updated April 11, 2023
2. What does SMH stand for when confused?

Scratching my head

When perplexed, a person may use "SMH" or "<SMH>" to communicate their confusion. It comes from the actual action of scratching your head, which some people subconsciously do when puzzled.

For example, your dad may text you, "SMH trying to figure out where the leak is coming from." Or, a person may post in a forum online, "Anyone know why my laptop's battery is no longer charging. SMH."

SMH also stands for "shaking my head," which is the more common use of the acronym. However, people typically use this when showing disapproval, not confusion.


SMH... I have no idea what he means
Me neither. Imma sleep now. Nite!

That confused SMH look

Related Slang


Updated April 11, 2023
3. What does SMH stand for?

Smash my head

An acronym that implies you are metaphorically smashing your hand to your forehead; typically used after saying or doing something stupid.


I can't believe I wrote down the wrong date! SMH

Related Slang


Updated July 23, 2014

SMH definition by

This page explains what the acronym "SMH" means. The various definitions, examples, and related terms listed above have been written and compiled by the team.

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