Oxford University Press crowns ‘rizz’ as word of the year 2023

The Oxford University Press on Monday named “rizz”, as the word of the year 2023, and some people are not even aware of what that means.

“Rizz” is Generation Z’s internet slang for romantic appeal, and was chosen among eight words reflecting the mood, ethos, or preoccupations of 2023, primarily used by young people.

The list was voted on by the public before Oxford lexicographers made the final decision, with other contenders including “swiftie”, “beige flag”, and “situationship”.

But what is “rizz” and do you think you had it this year?

The word might not mean anything to you if you do not belong to Gen Z but it was used massively online, with billions of views of the hashtag “rizz” on TikTok, the BBC reported.

According to Oxford University Press, which publishes the Oxford English Dictionary, it is defined as style, charm, or attractiveness, and the ability to attract a romantic or sexual partner.

Rizz, a shortened form of the word “charisma,” is a verb which means to attract, seduce, or chat someone up. It is a newer version of “game,” referring to skill and prowess.

Kai Cenat, a YouTuber and Twitch streamer, is credited with having popularised the term with his friends. This year, the word’s usage increased, with actor Tom Holland discussing the secret to his rizz in June with Buzzfeed.

Holland replied: “I have no rizz whatsoever. I have limited rizz,” before explaining he won over his girlfriend Zendaya by playing the “long game”.

Furthermore, Oxford’s word of the year 2022 was “goblin mode”, another slang term describing “unapologetically self-indulgent, lazy, slovenly, or greedy” behaviour.

Casper Grathwohl, president at Oxford Languages, said that “while ‘goblin mode’ had resonated with many people after the pandemic, it’s interesting to see a contrasting word like rizz come to the forefront”.

He said the word possibly spoke to “a prevailing mood of 2023, where more of us are opening ourselves up after a challenging few years and finding confidence in who we are”.

Grathwohl added that the rise in the use of the word rizz proved that words and phrases that derive from internet culture “are increasingly becoming part of day-to-day vernacular”.

Oxford University Press’ language experts selected eight words for their 2023 word of the year, which was then voted on by the public, resulting in four finalists.

In November, Collins Dictionary’s word of 2023 was “artificial intelligence”.


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