Oxford University Press Announces Its Word Of The Year For 2023

The use of the term popularized by Gen Z peaked in June following a BuzzFeed interview with Tom Holland.

Oxford University Press on Monday announced its word of the year for 2023, and some of us may have had to google it.

“After over 30,000 language lovers around the world got involved to help refine our shortlist of eight words, we are pleased to announce that the Oxford Word of the Year 2023 is rizz,” the publishing company said in a press release.

“Rizz,” a term popularized by Gen Z, which in more detail is defined as “style, charm, or attractiveness; the ability to attract a romantic or sexual partner” is derived from the middle part of “charisma,” the publisher explains.

The word first made its appearance last year in the Oxford Monitor Corpus of English.

The use of “rizz,” it said, peaked in June following an interview Tom Holland gave to BuzzFeed where the actor was asked: “What’s the secret to your rizz?”

“I have no rizz whatsoever,” Holland said. “I have limited rizz.”

The publisher created a shortlist of eight words and then asked the public to vote over a period of four days to settle on a list of four finalists.

Other than rizz, the other finalists were “prompt,” as AI tools gained more prominence this year, “situationship,” describing an informal romantic or sexual relationship, and “Swiftie,” referring to Taylor Swift’s fanbase.

The publishing company’s language experts ultimately settled on “rizz,” factoring in corpus data, votes and public commentary.

“It speaks to how younger generations now have spaces, online or otherwise, to own and define the language they use,” Oxford University Press said. “From activism to dating and wider culture, as Gen Z comes to have more impact on society, differences in perspectives and lifestyle play out in language, too.”

“Beige flag,” “de-influencing,” “heat dome” and “parasocial” also made the shortlist.

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