Oxford University Press has just announced its word of the year, but if you’re not in Gen Z, you might not know this popular term.
Oxford’s choice, “rizz,” beat out words like “Swiftie” and “situationship” to become 2023’s word of the year. “Rizz” was chosen via online vote after linguistic experts created a short list of words that gained traction this year.
What does rizz mean? It’s the amount of charisma you have when trying to attract someone’s romantic interest. So, yes, rizz is a good thing: And having rizz or even being a “rizz god” is the ultimate compliment for the younger generations.
The term rizz is abbreviated slang that comes from the term charisma, but like last year’s word of the year winner (goblin mode), rizz became popular thanks to social media. While the word is said to have originated in small circles like online gaming communities, it quickly became a popular viral term that was used in a GIFs and TikTok videos.
Then, when actor Tom Holland used the term in an interview last year, it was official: Rizz had made it, and soon it seemed that everyone was saying it, regardless of their age. As Holland explains below, he has “no rizz whatsoever,” but that’s OK because he is “locked up.” However, he does assure Buzzfeed that his brother Paddy (also an actor) has lots of rizz.
“Rizz is a term that has boomed on social media and speaks to how language that enjoys intense popularity and currency within particular social communities — and even in some cases lose their popularity and become passé — can bleed into the mainstream,” said the President of Oxford Languages, Casper Grathwohl, in a press release from Oxford Press. “This is a story as old as language itself, but stories of linguistic evolution and expansion that used to take years can now take weeks or months. The spike in usage data for rizz goes to prove that words and phrases that evolve from internet culture are increasingly becoming part of day-to-day vernacular and will continue to shape language trends in the future.”
In addition to “Swiftie” and “situationship,” other words on the Oxford University Press shortlist for word of the year 2023 include “de-influencing,” “beige flag,” “parasocial,” “prompt” and “heat dome.”
Oxford University Press names ‘Rizz’ word of the year for 2023 originally appeared on Simplemost.com, helping make the most out of life.