What you need to know:
- It's a term Gen Z has mainly embraced, and it beat out words such as “prompt,” “situationship” and “Swiftie” that were considered by OUP, which publishes the Oxford English Dictionary.
- The word is heavily used online, with the hashtag ‘#rizz' wracking up billions of views on TikTok.
A popular Gen Z internet slang term has been crowned word of the year by Oxford University Press.
It was one of eight words on a shortlist, all chosen to reflect the mood, ethos, or preoccupations of 2023 with the list being narrowed down in a public vote before Oxford lexicographers made the final decision.
It's a term Gen Z has mainly embraced, and it beat out words such as “prompt,” “situationship” and “Swiftie” that were considered by OUP, which publishes the Oxford English Dictionary.
According to Oxford University Press, rizz is believed to be the shortened form of the word “charisma” and is used to describe someone’s ability to attract another person through style or charm.
The word can also be used as a verb, as in to “rizz up”, meaning to attract or chat up another person.
“It speaks to how younger generations create spaces – online or in person – where they own and define the language they use,” the publisher said in a statement.
The word is heavily used online, with the hashtag ‘#rizz' wracking up billions of views on TikTok.
Its origins have been pegged to Twitch streamer Kai Cenat who has been credited with popularizing the word on the interactive livestreaming platform. Unlike Oxford's characterization of the term, Cenat said the word is not short of charisma to him, and instead, it "meant game."
The term has sice evolved to mean different variations of the word rizz, such as “I rizz” and “unspoken rizz.”
The word was made popular in June this year when Spider-Man actor Tom Holland said he had “no rizz whatsoever” during a Buzzfeed interview.
“I have limited rizz. My bother Paddy has ultimate rizz.”
“I need you to fall in love with me, really, for it to work so long game, probably making a movie with each other” he added, joking about his relationship with co-star star Zendaya.
While Merriam-Webster's word of the year was “authentic,” rizz was also under consideration. Collins Dictionary selected "artificial intelligence" as their word of the year in November.
Last year, the slang term “Goblin mode” took the prize as Oxford's 2022 word of the year. Oxford described it as a type of behavior when someone is “unapologetically self-indulgent, lazy, slovenly, or greedy, typically in a way that rejects social norms or expectations.”
Past honorees include “vax” in 2021, “climate emergency” in 2019, and “selfie” in 2013.