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What Slang Term Was Oxford’s 2023 Word of the Year?

Margaret Lipman
By
Updated May 17, 2024
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Do you have “rizz”? Or do you even know what the word means? If you frequently use TikTok and other social media apps, you’ve likely come across this term, despite its very recent introduction into the lexicon.

Despite being such a new word—and still unfamiliar to many people—"rizz" has been designated as Oxford Languages’ 2023 Word of the Year. The term beat out seven other shortlisted candidates. So what is rizz, exactly? Thought to be a shortened form of charisma, rizz refers to one’s overall attractiveness and ability to attract a romantic partner.

It’s a word that originated in 2022 with Generation Z, specifically in online gaming communities. British actor Tom Holland, 27, of Spider-Man fame, significantly boosted its possibility earlier this year when he told BuzzFeed that, despite being in a relationship with the incredibly popular actress and singer Zendaya, he has “no rizz whatsoever.” The clip has been viewed over 58 million times and seems to have cemented the popularity of “rizz,” which is notably easy to use in a sentence (and fun to say).

Unlike last year, when the Word of the Year accolade was left to a public vote (which resulted in “goblin mode” being chosen as the 2022 winner), the 2023 selection process involved the shortlisted words being paired in head-to-head matchups in late November. Oxford's language experts then examined the results of that vote, usage data, and "public commentary" to determine the winner.

Got rizz?

  • In just a few months, “rizz” has gone mainstream beyond Gen Z and has been adopted by brands for marketing purposes. You may have even heard rizz-related puns and spinoff terms such as “irrizzistable” and “rizz-colored glasses.”

  • The contrast of “rizz” with last year’s “goblin mode” is striking, with the former being all about positivity and connection with other people, while the latter is about being alone, pushing people away, and behaving in a self-indulgent, lazy, or greedy way.

  • The other words on the 2023 shortlist, which are not all included in the Oxford Dictionary of English, include “Swiftie,” “beige flag,” “parasocial,” “heat dome,” “de-influencing,” “situationship,” and “prompt” (as in an instruction given to AI).

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Margaret Lipman
By Margaret Lipman
With years of experience as an educator, Margaret Lipman produces thoughtful and informative content across a wide range of topics. Her articles cover essential areas such as finance, parenting, health and wellness, nutrition, educational strategies. Margaret's writing is guided by her passion for enriching the lives of her readers through practical advice and well-researched information.
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Margaret Lipman
Margaret Lipman
With years of experience as an educator, Margaret Lipman produces thoughtful and informative content across a wide range...
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