What Does SMH Mean?

“Shake My Head” / “SMH” is very frequently used in diverse forms of digital communication, especially in internet communities.

What Does SMH Mean? – The abbreviation is widely familiar in internet culture – and common enough that some people will say SMH in their speech as they might LOL or OMG.

The tone of SMH often implies an impatience with a perceived unnecessary stupidity of a person or process. SMH is often issued to preface what the user is disappointed or frustrated by (e.g., smh… My flight got canceled and can’t be rebooked). GIFs of people shaking their heads captioned with smh are popular on GIF keyboards and can be sent via text message or attached to tweets as a reaction image. The hashtags #smh and #smdh are popular ways to tag exasperation on social media.

SMH is also intensified, most commonly as smdh (shaking my damn head) but also smfh (shaking my f**king head), and smmfh (shaking my motherf**king head).

Less often, SMH will stand for so much hate, showing or commenting on disdain, or scratching my head, used for puzzlement. The internet slang is not to be confused with the common abbreviation of the Australian newspaper, The Sydney Morning Herald.

Spike in usage in 1995 in the book: Theoretical, Experimental, and Numerical Contributions to the Mechanics of Fluids and Solids.

Word of the day from Merriam Webster is “Quisling” – noun – one who commits treason: traitor, collaborator.

Vidkun Quisling was a Norwegian army officer who in 1933 founded Norway’s fascist party. In December 1939, he met with Adolf Hitler and urged him to occupy Norway. Following the German invasion of April 1940, Quisling served as a figurehead in the puppet government set up by the German occupation forces, and his linguistic fate was sealed. Before the end of 1940, quisling was being used generically in English to refer to any traitor. Winston Churchill, George Orwell, and H. G. Wells used it in their wartime writings. Quisling lived to see his name thus immortalized, but not much longer. He was executed for treason soon after the liberation of Norway in 1945.

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