We live in an age of acronyms, and for good reason: most of our communication is text-based. As such, we look for the quickest and most concise way to communicate information: to convey thoughts and feelings with just a few characters.
But if you are not a teen or living with a teen, you may struggle to keep up with the ever-evolving lingo. The good news is that you are not alone.
It is used to express general disapproval, exasperation, and frustration. It is used anytime someone says or does something you do not approve of. You can find a more "official" definition of SMH through Merriam-Webster, who defines SMH as an acronym for shaking my head "used to impart a sense of bemused incredulity.
While Merriam-Webster has yet to actually add SMH to the dictionary, it notes that the acronym is one of the dictionary's "words to watch.
Unlike other common acronyms, the origins of SMH are unclear; however, according to Oxford Dictionarythe phrase was coined sometime in the early 21st century, with entries on Urban Dictionary dating back to These days, the acronym is a staple in text and on social media sites like Reddit and Twitter and in the comment sections of Instagram and TikTok.
Since the letters and even meaning behind SMH are fairly ambiguous, debates have sprung up about what exactly the term means. One of the most common misconceptions is that SMH stands for "smack my head," a definition that many Reddit thre have debunked.
The feeling behind SMH can also be found in the acronym RME, which stands for "rolling my eyes," and the simple word "facepalm," often accentuated between asterisks to indicate that the person using the word is actively putting their palm to their face in exasperation. Endgame is a loud, hyped, and action-packed movie, so how John fell asleep is mind boggling — and yet, here we are.
Nicole Lane is a wife, mother, writer, and regular contributor for YourTango. She is a staunch defender of women's rights, she believes firmly in equality and parity, and she is an advocate for women's health, mental health, and sexuality.
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