SMH: What This Popular Acronym Means—and When to Use It

No, it doesn't mean "So Much Hate."

angry woman

In today's age of tech addiction, the mighty English language has been dwindled down to communicating in acronyms and emojis. And it's hard to keep up. Everyone knows what LOL and BRB mean, but every day new ones pop up on your phone and in your social media feed, leaving you feeling old and out-of-touch. Like, did you know that BAE stands for "before anyone else" and not just a lazy version of "baby"? Or that IMHO can alternately stand for "In My Humble Opinion" or "In My Honest Opinion"? And here you were thinking that flammable and inflammable were hard to grasp. And one acronym that constantly pops up and befuddles people is "SMH."

If you thought that stood for So Much Hate, you'd be forgiven. But it actually stands for "Shaking My Head." While its proper usage is in response to someone writing something so stupid that the recipient can only shake their head in response, it's also often used to express general disbelief or disappointment at something. It's meant to replace the same physical body language used to shake your heard, and is the new-and-improved version of <facepalm>. Here are a few examples of its appropriate usage. And for more explanations of modern lingo, check out 20 Online Dating Terms Older People Don't Know.

SMH Example 1: When Someone Tells You How to Feel

"Calm down." Sorry, I'll try to find more subtle ways to enjoy life. smh," one Twitter user wrote.

Scenario 2: When The Team You're Rooting for Doesn't Win

"The Purple Eagles totally should've won that game! They had it when Pizzaburghenshire made that shot!! Smh," is a good example from Twitter.

smh meme

Scenario 3: When Someone Your Friend Is Dating Does/Says Something Stupid

Example: "Did he seriously just say that to you? Smh."

smh homer simpson meme

Scenario 4: When Someone Makes Poor Choices

Example: "Did you actually buy lace-up jeans? Smh."

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Diana Bruk
Diana is a senior editor who writes about sex and relationships, modern dating trends, and health and wellness. Read more
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