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Updated Apr 08, 2024 at 12:07PM EDT by Zach.

Added Dec 09, 2015 at 05:48PM EST by Don.

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Related Explainer: What Does 'SMH' Mean? The Internet Slang Term Explained

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*SMH" is an initialism for "shaking my head," which is typically used in text messaging and online discussions to convey feelings of disappointment or dismay in a similar vein to the facepalm.


On February 14th, 2004, Urban Dictionary[1] user trickologist submitted an entry for "smh," defining it as an acronym for "shake my head" which is used in response to "something so stupid, no words can do it justice" (shown below). Over the next 11 years, the definition gained over 20,100 up votes and 10,400 down votes.

smh Acronym for 'shake my head' or'shaking my head. Usually used when someone finds something so stupid, no words can do it justice. Sometimes it's modified to 'smfh' or 'smmfh' by those that prefer profanity in their internet acronyms. tricki: i got a headache...i hit myself in the head with my knee while trying to do situps. trick2: smh by trickologist February 14, 2004


On June 22nd, 2007, Urban Dictionary[6] user Metaview submitted the abbreviation smdh to the site, defining it as "shaking my damn head." Within eight years, the definition gathered upwards of 1,000 up votes and 300 down votes. On October 24th, 2010, YouTuber crazeepromo uploaded the hiphop track "SMH" by rapper Jimmy Dade (shown below).

On January 23rd, 2012, "smh" was added to the Online Slang Dictionary.[5] On August 29th, 2013, Vice[3] published an article titled "What Does 'Shaking My Head' Even Mean Anymore?", which noted that the initialism is often used for the alternate phrase "so much hate." On February 26th, 2015, the pop culture blog Bustle[4] published a compilation of animated reaction GIFs for the initialism (shown below).

On April 22nd, the site SMHMeansWhat[2] was launched, which contains various posts about the initialism. On September 25th, Redditor ButteredPenguin submitted an image macro about marijuana paraphernalia titled "Crazy Ass White People SMH" to /r/BlackPeopleTwitter,[7] where it gathered upwards of 2,900 votes (93% upvoted) and 40 comments in two months.

Smh white people can never just smoke out of a regular bowl

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External References

[1] Urban Dictionary – smh

[2] – SMH Means What?

[3] Vice – What does Shaking My Head Even Mean Anymore? via Web Archive

[4] Bustle – What does smh mean

[5] Online Slang Dictionary – smh

[6] Urban Dictionary – SMDH

[7] Reddit – Crazy Ass White People SMH

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