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‘Rizz’ named word of the year by Oxford University Press

‘Rizz’ named word of the year by Oxford University Press

“Rizz” has officially been named the 2023 word of the year by Oxford University Press.

The internet slang term, short for “charisma”, is defined as style, charm, or attractiveness, and the ability to attract a romantic or sexual partner.

It was first recorded in 2022 but went viral in June when actor Tom Holland told Buzzfeed: “I have no rizz whatsoever. I have limited rizz.”

Usage surged and ended up pushing the word ahead of other 2023 contenders which included “Swiftie”, “de-influencing”, “beige flag” and “situationship”.

“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,” the President of Oxford Languages Casper Grathwohl said.

“Rizz” can also be used as a verb, in phrases such as “to rizz up”, which means to attract, seduce or chat up a person.

The fact that the word has expanded into other parts of speech like this signals it is becoming more prominent in language, Oxford University Press researchers said.

Language experts chose the word after a four-day voting period narrowed the words down to four finalists – “rizz”, “Swiftie”, “prompt” and “situationship”.

The word of the year for 2022 was “goblin mode” – “the behaviour of someone who wants to feel comfortable and do and eat whatever they want, not caring about trying to be clean, healthy, or attractive, or about pleasing or impressing other people”.

Mr Grathwohl said: “Given that last year ‘goblin mode’ resonated with so many of us after the pandemic, it’s interesting to see a contrasting word like rizz come to the forefront, perhaps speaking 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.”

The word “rizz” has some similarities to “game”, defined as skill, prowess, or technique; the ability to impress; the ability to attract others sexually by using one’s charm or charisma in an artful way – a usage which dates back to the 1970s.

Shortlisted words and their draft definitions

beige flag (noun): a character trait that indicates that a partner or potential partner isboring or lacks originality; (also) a trait or habit, esp. of a partner or potentialpartner, viewed as extremely characteristic, but not distinctly good or bad.

situationship (noun): a romantic or sexual relationship that is not considered to beformal or established.

Read also: English for specific purposes: Notice, circulars and bulletin

parasocial (adjective): designating a relationship characterised by the one-sided,unreciprocated sense of intimacy felt by a viewer, fan, or follower for a well-known or prominent figure (typically a media celebrity), in which the follower or fan comes to feel (falsely) that they know the celebrity as a friend.

heat dome (noun): a persistent high-pressure weather system over a particular geographic area, which traps a mass of hot air below it.

Swiftie (noun): an enthusiastic fan of the singer Taylor Swift.

rizz (noun): style, charm, or attractiveness; the ability to attract a romantic or sexual partner.

prompt (noun): an instruction given to an artificial intelligence program, algorithm, etc., which determines or influences the content it generates.

de-influencing (noun): the practice of discouraging people from buying particular products, or of encouraging people to reduce their consumption of material goods, esp. via social media.