Oxford University Press Declares ‘Rizz’ as Word of the Year

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According to the Oxford University Press, which published the Oxford English Dictionary, Gen Z primarily uses “rizz” as a noun, meaning style, charm, attractiveness, or the ability to attract a romantic sexual partner. The word is an abbreviation of sort of the word “charisma.”

“The word ‘rizz’ can also be used as a verb, often in the phrase ‘rizz up’, which means ‘to attract, seduce, or chat up (a person),’ Oxford said. 

“Rizz” beat out other potential “Words of the Year,” such as “prompt,” “situationship,” and “Swiftie.

@ctvnews Oxford University Press has named ‘rizz’ as its word of the year, highlighting the popularity of a term used by Generation Z to describe someone’s ability to attract or seduce another person. #oxford #wordoftheyear #rizz #explained #swiftie #beigeflag #situationship #genz #dictionary #news #ctvnews #nowyouknow ♬ original sound – CTVNews

According to CBS News, however, Kai Cenat, a Twitch streamer, is credited with first using the word on his platform. He told Complex that he and his friends created the word, and it actually means “game.”

Casper Grathwohl, president at Oxford Languages, told the BBC that rizz has likely gained popularity as part of “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.” 

In a Buzzfeed interview over the summer, an interviewer asked actor Tom Holland if he had any “rizz.”

“I have no rizz whatsoever, I have limited rizz,” Holland told the outlet. “I need you to fall in love with me, really, for it to work.”

Oxford experts selected the word from eight potential winners and also weighed in some 32,000 votes from the public.

“Rizz is a term that has boomed on social media,” Grathwohl said, “and speaks to how the 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.”

The word has generated thousands of mentions across the web, from TikTok to YouTube.

Also, including a mention from Oxford University Press itself: 

Merriam-Webster’s word of the year was “authentic,” but the dictionary did consider rizz. Collins Dictionary selected “artificial intelligence” as their word of the year in November. 

Photo Courtesy: ©Getty Images, Chinnapong

Video Courtesy: CBS Mornings via YouTube

Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and She blogs at The Migraine Runner.

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