Do you have ‘rizz’, the Oxford Word of the Year?

The slang term came out on top of a shortlist which included Swiftie, prompt and situationship.

Dec 05, 2023, updated Dec 05, 2023
He hasn't got it, but Spider-Man star Tom Holland helped spark interest in the slang term rizz. Photo: AAP

He hasn't got it, but Spider-Man star Tom Holland helped spark interest in the slang term rizz. Photo: AAP

Rizz, a slang term used by Generation Z to describe romantic charm, has been crowned the Oxford Word of the Year for 2023.

The word is believed to be a shortened form of charisma and is described by the Oxford University Press as a colloquial noun, defined as style, charm, or attractiveness or the ability to attract a romantic or sexual partner.

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

A shortlist of eight words was narrowed down by the public over a four-day voting period until four words were chosen: rizz, Swiftie, prompt, and situationship.

Language experts considered factors including the public commentary around the words to make the final decision.

Oxford University Press said use of the word rizz increased this year, peaking in June when Spider-Man actor Tom Holland said in an interview: “I have no rizz whatsoever, I have limited rizz.”

Rizz is the latest in “word of the year” announcements by leading dictionaries. Last month Merriam-Webster named “authentic” as its most looked up word and the Macquarie Dictionary went with “cozzie livs” for 2023.

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Last year’s Oxford Word of the Year was goblin mode, meaning a type of behaviour that is unapologetically self-indulgent, lazy, slovenly, or greedy.

Oxford Languages president Casper Grathwohl said given that goblin mode resonated with so many following the pandemic, it was interesting to have a word like rizz come to the forefront.

“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,” he said.

“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.”


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