The way internet slangs keep evolving, you might become obsolete if you don’t keep up. You must have seen SMH a million times while using social media. It can be really confusing when you have no idea what it means.
In this post, we will look at what this acronym means and how you can use it.
Overview of the acronym SMH
To be honest, without acronyms using the internet will be quite boring. Most social media platforms allow very little space to express yourself in words. For example, Twitter allows you to use just 150 characters per tweet.
This means that you must use acronyms to make your space count. Still wondering what the acronym SMH means? Here’s it. It simply means “shaking my head.”
Did it cross your mind? It should have if you are a frequent user of social media. Social media is the part of the internet where acronyms are most used. These days, teens are the most frequent users of social media and as a parent, you must be abreast of the social media lingo.
Understanding the use of the acronym is usually more important than just knowing the meaning. We will look at how you can use the acronym on different social media as well as in daily conversations. You will also learn reasons why you should use SMH on both internet and regular convo.
What does SMH mean?
We’ve already discussed the meaning of SMH but when you look at it broadly, it is beyond “shaking my head.” It goes deeper than just shaking your head. The acronym is a literal expression of disapproval of an action or comment. It could also refer to being frustrated or exasperated at a situation.
In some cases, SMH could refer to “stupid minded humans” and at other times it could mean “so much hate.” Despite all of this, the most common use is still “shaking my head” or “shakin’ my head.”
Asides being a means of expressing chagrin and as a means of punctuating a sentence, it can be used for more. Most people deploy the term when they are short of words and can literally just shake their heads.
It should be noted that the term is the foundation for other closely related internet slangs. The two most profound of these slangs are “shaking my fuckin’ head” and “shaking my damn head.”
Origin of chat abbreviations (initialisms and acronyms)
It is important that we take a look at this before we dive into how SMH has been used and can be used. Since man learned the art of writing, there has always been the tendency to make use of shorthand to pass messages. This was employed as a means of saving time and coding messages from the ordinary eye.
It is only natural that the use of shorthand should become more pronounced over the internet. Naturally, with more use, efficiency is developed. That is the case with abbreviations. Just so you know, there are two types of abbreviations that are commonly used over the internet. They are initialisms and acronyms.
Chatspeak or internet lingo refers to language that is used over the internet and over chat platforms. It is simply the shorthand writing that is employed on social media, instant messaging, SMS messaging, and other web fora.
Chat abbreviations were developed to ensure that chats flowed easily without being too formal. It definitely achieved this purpose as more and more abbreviations are developed daily over the net.
Using SMH in Text messaging
If you don’t text frequently, you may not understand abbreviations like this when they are sent to your phone. Though they may seem an unfamiliar lingo to you, they have been in use for a long time so they are very common.
There are several meanings for SMH when used in a text message. Let’s go through a few of these in the next few paragraphs.
- A state of thought. In real life, when you are asked a question and you have no idea of the answer, you scratch your head. This can be translated to text as well when you are in a state of thought about a question asked. It is, therefore, safe to say one of the profound meanings of SMH in text messaging is “scratching my head.” When a person uses it in this manner, it means you may wait a while to get a response as the fellow is in a dilemma.
- Stupidity. As you exchange text or chat messages with one of your friends, it is not uncommon to see SMH being used. It is important that you understand the context so you know what line of action to take or the response to give. If you have done something stupid, your friend may type SMH to mean “shaking my head.” Sometimes, it might not refer to you, it might refer to someone or something else that you are discussing.
- Irritation and disappointment. There are certain situations you find yourself in real life that make you feel like shooting or smacking your head. At these times you hold your hand to your head like a gun or gesturing that you want to smack your head. When you are texting and you are really disappointed or irritated, you type SMH. In this context, you could mean “shoot my head” or “smack my head.”
Using SMH on Instagram
So let’s be factual, in real life, no one ever says “shaking my head” as part of a sentence. It is more often used as an internet lingo. On Instagram, it is mostly used as an add on, almost without special thought from the user.
It is used both in captions and comments and understanding the use makes it really fun. Most of the time when it is used, it is seen as a means of drawing humor rather than a stern reprove. This is not to say that sometimes a person does not literally use the acronym.
Young people use SMH more and they mix it with some form of amusement in their comments. For example, when they see a funny video or picture of someone exhibiting the unexpected on Instagram. If you go through the comments section, you are likely to see a lot of SMHs. Of course, these could mean any of “shaking my head,” “shoot my head,” or “smack my head.”
By the way, since it is also a complete sentence, it can also be used to express a complete thought. There are really no strict rules to the use of the acronym, it all depends on how creative you are with it.
How to use SMH the right way
Young adults and teens make use of SMH a lot these days making it one of the most popular acronyms online. As much as it is really popular, so many people lack knowledge about how to use it appropriately. Already we have told you that there are no strict rules to using this acronym. Yet it is important to use it right to avoid ambiguity.
It makes it easy to express disappointment at an event or a person’s comment or action. It can be typed in small letters or caps. The abbreviation can also be used on its own to present complete thought or in a sentence.
All that you should remember is that it is needed to show more expression regarding disgust or humor. It is mostly used when words will fail to express the writer’s feelings in the truest of terms. Plus, it is a faster way of stating your disdain.
Reasons why you should use SMH
The different acronyms used online are there for two purposes, express thought more expressly, and add speed. Never have human beings been in a hurry like in this generation. Some people have used acronyms so much, they would even use them while speaking.
Don’t be deceived, there’s never going to be a time when we will have fewer acronyms. They will always increase because there is a need for speed and accuracy is expressing feelings. SMH is one of these acronyms and it will continue to show up online.
Now you understand that we use SMH for two reasons, speed, and accuracy of expressing our thoughts. It becomes easier to use this acronym and related to it when used by others.
Using SMH in Hashtags
Asides being used in normal sentences and as a single caption, SMH is also used in hashtags. If you have used social media for a while, you should have a hang on what hashtags are. Let’s take a brief look.
Hashtags are used social media as a means of attracting attention to posts. It is this simple sign “#.” You must have seen it a lot. Tracing the history of hashtags, they were first employed on Twitter. Their major function was to help users find conversations and follow easily.
There is really no special experience or training required to use hashtags which makes it really easy to use SMH as such. Using the acronym in this manner does not really change the meaning. What it implies is that more people will be able to see your post once they search for that hashtag.
Here’s a simple example: I can’t believe he lied to her. #smh
Let us see what #smh implies to this sentence. It just means that when a person searches for #smh your post is likely to pop up. It is a great tool for getting conversions online. There are a few simple rules for using these hashtags:
- Don’t add any other special characters.
- Don’t add any punctuations.
- Leave out spacing.
A few situations when you can use SMH
This section provides you a guide to know when to make use of the acronym, SMH. You should know at this point that you shouldn’t use it in verbal language. Textual language is the most appropriate use of this acronym and many others over the internet.
Here are a few scenarios when SMH is applicable online.
- When one of your silly younger relatives posts a video of themselves doing something stupid online. Social media and the internet never forgets. Employers visit social media profiles to carry out background checks on potential employees. SMH could be a way to show your disapproval and an admonition to take down the post.
- When your bus is late for the zillionth time. This can be a really frustrating situation and while posting about it, you can simply add SMH.
- When owning up to a stupid act. We all have our stupid times, after all, we are all human. When owning up to this online, you can incorporate the use of the acronym. For example, “imagine me blending my smoothie without placing the lid on the blender. SMH.”
- When showing someone sympathy for an occurrence or seemingly horrible experience. It doesn’t have to be a depressing incident by the way. It may just be an experience you have been through and you want to tell how much you understand the pain. This may end being really compassionate or being humorous, it all depends on the situation.
- When jesting one of your friends for a dumb act or line of thought. Don’t we all have friends who seem to never stop acting funny? In fact, when they do, they surprise us, SMH.
Examples showing the use of SMH
Enough of the theory, let’s go through practical examples showing how SMH is used on different platforms. This should be fun and you would realize that you have even used it unknowingly a couple of times.
In regular conversations
- Did Jones really take the book? SMH.
- Tom actually spent all of his salary on a new car when there were other needs beckoning.
- I shouldn’t have expected anything more than a coffee date, SMH.
- The green lions should have totally won that game with all their chances. SMH.
- Steve: Sam, can I loan ten bucks? Sam replies: SMH, not again.
- Can I see you tomorrow? Oh boy, SMH.
- He was so drunk, he rammed his car into a wall just a few meters from the bar, SMH.
- Kids have no idea about real music these days. Seriously? SMH.
- Misplaced my phone yesterday afternoon. Right now all I can do is SMH.
- This week has been really stressful, just SMH.
- It looks like everyone’s got a soul mate except me, smh.
- These new rules that don’t benefit anyone should be discarded, SMH.
- I wonder how he could get an award for that wack album, SMH.
- Why exactly isn’t he singing and he keeps greeting everyone? SMH.
- Why in the world would they place Peppa inside the oven…SMH?
- That very uncle that keeps trying to meet up. SMH.
- She looks so hot in that video, SMH.
- There are only toxic women on the app rn, SMH. I better head back to sleep.
- After all the promises, the elections were still a sham, SMH.
- Oh boy, I should never post pics here again, smh.
- SMH, I was so young when Twitter came into existence.
- I can’t believe that after getting a haircut, I lost my acting skills. SMH.
SMH as Hashtags
You will notice that we jumped the use on Instagram. This is because SMH on Instagram is used as a hashtag. This is why we jumped straight to hashtags. Let’s check a few examples below:
- We should focus more on the effects of racism on our kids, not border control #smh
- Demeaning languages should not be used against women and anyone caught should be sued. #smh
- Don’t we all love how we all overlook the mistakes in the movie? #smh
- #SMH the internet has won again.
- Literally, no matter her efforts, they are still unsatisfied. #smh
- Sitting in a coffee shop and a man walks in naked #smh to buy some coffee.
- How can we pay for pie on pie-free day? #SMH
- One percent of my battery lasts longer than most relationships these days. #smh
- Dreamz keeps trending for all the wrong reasons. #smh
- Oh no!!! Not this again #smh
- Hand him some duct tape, he should be fine, lol. #smh
- I am done for the day. #smh off to get some dinner.
- Who lied? #smh
- Light dawns. #smh
- In our world today, playing a video game could earn you over $3 million, what a joke. #smh
- Here is a simple fact. Hard things are hard!!! #SMH
- Have you ever taken a selfie only to realize you were the only one looking in the camera? #SMH
What does SMH mean Wrap Up
No doubt, SMH is one of the top slangs used over the internet these days. It is going to be that way for a very long time. This post must have taught you how to make use of the acronym on different platforms. Share your own examples in the comments section let’s see how exciting they are.