What Does SMH Mean in a Text?

SMH means "Shaking My Head." However, it does not mean "no," like classic head shaking might. SMH is an expression of disbelief or disapproval. It has a similar meaning to the following phrases:
  • "Your idiocy leaves me speechless!"
  • "I can't believe it. What are you like?!"
  • "I do not approve of that."
SMH has the same meaning as RME (Rolling My Eyes) and is a less profane version of SMFH (Shaking My F*cking Head).

The use of SMH is particularly common on Instagram, Snapchat, and Reddit, where it typically appears with a hashtag (#SMH) and accompanies gifs of celebrities shaking their heads.

Video Summarizing the Abbreviation SMH

Image for SMH

When I write SMH, I mean this:

meaning of SMH

SMH usually translates as "I have no words for your stupidity."

Summary of Key Points

"Shaking My Head" is the most common definition for SMH on Snapchat, WhatsApp, Reddit, Roblox, and Instagram.
Definition:Shaking My Head
Guessability:guessability level 2
2: Quite easy to guess
Typical Users:typical user

Adults and Teenagers

Examples of SMH in Sentences

Here are some examples of SMH being used in sentences:
  • Jo: Was that your comment in the suggestions book?
  • Karl: Yes! Pretty cool idea, eh?
  • Jo: #SMH.
  • Harry: Megs and I are going to live in Canada. No-one will bother us there.
  • William: What?! SMH.

An Academic Look at SMH

SMH is an initialism abbreviation. This means it is pronounced using its individual letters (i.e., "Ess Emm Aich"). Initialisms contrast with acronyms, which are spoken like words.

The term SMH cannot be easily categorized as a particular part of speech because it often plays the role of an entire clause or a sentence. For example:
  • SMH. That was a crazy decision.

  • (Here, SMH translates as "I am shaking my head." It is a sentence.)
  • I am driving SMH.

  • (Here, SMH best translates as "while shaking my head." It is a dependent clause.)
Of note, the word "shaking" is a present participle, making SMH a participle phrase. However, as text speak and internet chat involve so much brevity, SMH is routinely used as a standalone term (which is not how participle phrases are typically used).

Example of SMH Used in a Text

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