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What Does 'SMH' Mean on TikTok A Guide to Common Acronyms and Slang


What Does ‘SMH’ Mean on TikTok? Absolute Guide to Common Acronyms and Slang

Frowning at your screen in wonder at the random letters appearing all over TikTok is a waste of perfectly good time. This piece will provide clarity on the use of the TikTok acronym ‘SMH’. 


The slang of the day is…’ SMH’

What does it mean?

The letters ‘SMH’ is common in the digital space and is widely identified as ‘Shake my head’. This is a universal display of disappointment, disapproval, frustration, or disbelief. ‘SMH’ could also carry these meanings:

● So much hate

● Smack my head

● Somehow

● Shaking my damn head

● SHFH is another form of the abbreviation SMH, which means Shaking my flippin’ head

How to use ‘SMH’

‘SMH’ immediately conveys the related sentiment, when you incorporate it as a caption in the video, hashtag in the description, or feedback when responding to followers’ comments. Regardless of which option you select, the benefits are automatic and meaningful communication is the ultimate reward.


Let us look at some examples 


True story! No I’m not sick, this is just what I look like without a face beat. #foryoupage #smh #over30club #tiktoksa

♬ original sound – Shawn Payne

Let us ignore that this video is actually about ‘SMH’ (lol) and focus on the use of the slang in the video as a caption and as a hashtag in the description. Content creator Melissaswart lip-syncs to this TikTok audio explaining that ‘SMH’ means shake my head and is not a random sound. 


And the parking lot is always empty too, so why they gotta park RIGHT next to me!? GET! AWAY! ✋😩😂 #eating #eatinginthecar #people #smh #annoying #leavemealone #fyp

♬ original sound – Cowbelly’s Memes

This creator Chef Summer Storm used ‘SMH’ as a hashtag to express the level of frustration she feels when she is eating in her car, parked in an empty parking lot, and somebody parks right next to her. The description and enactment of the scenario, paired with the whistle/silent scream, are supported by the ‘SMH’ hashtag. Each of these elements conveys the intended message. ‘SMH’ is an appropriate accompaniment to this video.

The Soul Family uses the ‘SMH’ hashtag in her content description. In the video, she tells a story of a real-life incident that contains layers of disbelief, comedy, and some awkwardness, as a result of her family’s unique ethnic composition. The ‘SMH’ hashtag perfectly expresses and contributes to the sentiments of her story, adding another layer of identification and expression.

This cheeky and adorable video by thebeautyblinger deserves the SMH hashtag. It is exactly the type of content that warrants a slow head shake, coupled with a smile. A little girl tells her mum a story about a bully at school and how she reclaimed her power by fighting back. The SMH hashtag is used appropriately here, conveying the most authentic reaction most viewers would have, validating their reactions and feelings. The little congruencies between the content, description, emotions, and reactions are satisfying on a subtle level.


‘SMH’ may not be totally exclusive to TikTok, although being extensively used on the platform. It is acceptable language for the platform, but we advise against using it in formal or everyday conversation. Nothing stops you, though, from shaking your head in disappointment and frustration wherever you are!

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David Adler is an entrepreneur and freelance blog post writer who enjoys writing about business, entrepreneurship, travel and the influencer marketing space.

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