Dec 4, 2023 - Technology

"Rizz" is Oxford University Press' 2023 word of the year

Voters selected "rizz" as the Oxford University Press 2023 word of the year. Photo: Oxford University Press

Great news for anyone charming: you were pretty important this year.

Driving the news: "Rizz," short for "charisma," is the 2023 Oxford University Press (OUP) word of the year.

  • More than 32,000 voters backed "rizz" as the winner.

Definition: (n.) "style, charm, or attractiveness; the ability to attract a romantic or sexual partner."

  • The term can also be used as a verb. To "rizz up" means to "to attract, seduce, or chat up (a person)," per OUP.

Be smart: "Rizz" was formed with a linguistic pattern called "clipping," as it came from the middle of another word.

  • Think "fridge" ("refrigerator") and "flu" ("influenza").

Oxford's data showed that the term became more popular in June 2023 after a BuzzFeed interview with actor Tom Holland.

  • "I have no rizz whatsoever," said the star of Marvel's "Spider-Man" "Home" trilogy, while sharing he's in love with co-star Zendaya. "I have limited rizz."

Between the lines: Oxford had three other finalists for the 2023 word of the year.

  • Prompt: (n.) "An instruction given to an artificial intelligence program, algorithm, etc., which determines or influences the content it generates."
  • Situationship: (n.) "A romantic or sexual relationship that is not considered to be formal or established."
  • Swiftie: (n.) "An enthusiastic fan of the singer Taylor Swift."

Zoom out: Merriam-Webster declared "authentic" the word of the year, considering 2023 a "crisis of authenticity" with the rise of artificial intelligence.

  • Rizz was one of Mirriam-Webster's runner-up choices.

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