Oxford’s Word of the Year: Unveiling ‘Rizz’ – 2023 Slang Sensation


In the ever-evolving landscape of language and communication, Oxford University Press has once again cast its spotlight on a word that has swiftly risen to prominence among the younger generation. Welcome to the revelation of the ‘Word of the Year 2023’—’Rizz.’

This year’s choice, ‘Rizz,’ is more than just a term; it embodies a cultural phenomenon that has permeated social media platforms, chat rooms, and everyday conversations. Oxford’s decision to crown ‘Rizz’ as the word of the year encapsulates its relevance and influence within today’s linguistic landscape.

Derived from the dynamic realm of slang, ‘Rizz’ isn’t merely a word; it’s a versatile entity used both as a noun and a verb, encompassing notions of style, charm, attractiveness, and the intriguing ability to captivate a romantic or sexual partner. It’s a term that has seeped into the lexicon of the digitally native Gen Z, finding a comfortable niche in their everyday vocabulary.

At its core, ‘Rizz’ represents a new form of charisma. Oxford University Press defines it as an amalgamation of style and magnetism that attracts others. However, its origins differ from Oxford’s interpretation. Twitch streamer Kai Cenat, credited with popularizing the term, expressed a distinct view. According to him, ‘Rizz’ signifies a game rather than charisma. This divergence in interpretation showcases the fluidity and evolution inherent in slang terms.

Variations of ‘Rizz,’ such as ‘l rizz’ and ‘unspoken rizz,’ have emerged, further cementing its place in contemporary discourse. The term’s multifaceted usage includes ‘rizz up,’ a phrase denoting the act of attracting, seducing, or charming someone. Its versatility has allowed it to permeate various aspects of life, from casual conversations to online interactions.

Celebrity encounters with ‘Rizz’ have further propelled its fame. During a Buzzfeed interview, Spider-Man actor Tom Holland humorously confessed his limited ‘rizz‘. It playfully hinted at needing someone to fall in love with him for it to work, adding a touch of celebrity endorsement to this linguistic sensation.

The choice of ‘Rizz’ as the word of the year by Oxford University Press underscores a larger cultural shift. It reflects a growing trend where internet-driven vocabulary seamlessly integrates into everyday language, signifying a shift in communication dynamics. The prevalence of ‘Rizz’ mirrors a broader societal embrace of self-expression and confidence after navigating challenging times.

While ‘Rizz’ emerges triumphant as Oxford’s word of the year, it’s important to note the linguistic diversity present in other influential dictionaries. Merriam-Webster’s word of the year, ‘authentic,’ and Collins Dictionary’s choice, ‘artificial intelligence,’ shed light on different linguistic dimensions that captivate the linguistic landscape.

In conclusion, ‘Rizz’ stands as a testament to the dynamic nature of language and its ability to evolve with societal changes. Its ascendancy to the coveted title of Oxford’s word of the year 2023 highlights the cultural significance of slang terms and their integration into everyday discourse. As language continues to shape and reflect our experiences, ‘Rizz’ remains a vivid testament to the evolving tapestry of linguistic expression.

The journey of ‘Rizz’ from an obscure slang term to a globally recognized word of the year serves as a reminder of language’s ever-evolving nature—a testament to the power of words to captivate and define our cultural zeitgeist.

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