Oxford names ‘rizz’ as word of the year after Tom Holland interview fuelled rise in use – but what does it mean? | UK News
“Rizz”, meaning romantic appeal, has been chosen as the Oxford 2023 word of the year.
A team of experts and tens of thousands of public votes selected ‘rizz’ as the word which most captures 2023.
And, if you don’t already know, it’s used (mainly by Gen Z) to describe someone’s ability to attract a romantic partner.
The slang term beat seven other contenders to win word of the year, including Swiftie which is, of course, the word used to describe fans of Taylor Swift.
Recorded uses of the word ‘rizz’ have increased dramatically this year, peaking in June when Spider-Man actor Tom Holland was asked about his ‘rizz’ in a widely shared interview.
He answered: “I have no rizz whatsoever.”
According to the Oxford University Press, “rizz” is defined as style, charm, or attractiveness; the ability to attract a romantic or sexual partner.
It is thought to be a shortened version of the word charisma.
It’s unusual in taking the middle part of a word for its shortened form. Other examples include ‘fridge’ (from refrigerator) and ‘flu’ (from influenza).
And if you can’t get enough of it as a noun, you can also use it as a verb by using the phrase ‘rizz up’, which means to attract or seduce someone.
Experts from Oxford University Press said the shortlist of eight words and phrases were chosen to most reflect the mood, ethos or preoccupations of the last year.
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The other seven are defined by the Oxford University Press as follows:
Swiftie: An enthusiastic fan of the singer Taylor Swift
De-influencing: The practice of discouraging people from buying particular products, or of encouraging people to reduce their consumption of material goods, esp. via social media.
Beige flag: A character trait that indicates that a partner or potential partner is boring or lacks originality; (also) a trait or habit, esp. of a partner or potential partner, viewed as extremely characteristic, but not distinctly good or bad.
Heat dome: A persistent high-pressure weather system over a particular geographic area, which traps a mass of hot air below it.
Prompt: An instruction given to an artificial intelligence program, algorithm, etc., which determines or influences the content it generates.
Parasocial: 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.
Situationship: A romantic or sexual relationship that is not considered to be formal or established.
Votes from the public narrowed the eight down to four finalists.
The experts then used the votes, language data and public commentary to pick the finalist.
Last year, the slang term ‘goblin mode’, which is defined as a type of behaviour which is unapologetically self-indulgent or lazy, was chosen as Oxford’s 2022 word of the year.