Do you have rizz? Memes featuring Tom Holland boost the popularity of the 2023 word of the year.
Do women rotate their hair in your presence? Do men laugh loudly at your humor? Have you observed that you excel at charming people? If so, you possess rizz.
If you are not familiar with the term, familiarize yourself with it as “rizz” has been chosen as the word of the year by Oxford University Press (OUP). OUP is the second oldest academic press in the world and publishes the Oxford English Dictionary.
The term used by generation Z to describe “fashion, charisma, or desirability” or “the skill of drawing in a romantic or sexual partner” surpassed other options like “Swiftie” (a devoted fan of Taylor Swift), “situationship” (a casual romantic or sexual relationship), and “prompt” (a command given to an artificial intelligence program).
According to the Oxford University Press, it is believed that “rizz” originated from the word “charisma.” It can be used as a verb, such as in the phrase “to rizz up,” which means to charm, entice, or flirt with someone.
The term was initially documented in 2022 but gained widespread attention in June when Spider-Man star Tom Holland stated in an interview: “I have zero chill. I have minimal chill.” He further elaborated that he won over his girlfriend, fellow actor Zendaya, by taking a strategic approach.
As Holland’s remarks sparked numerous internet jokes, the general usage of the term increased by approximately 15 times, according to the publisher. Presently, the word is widely used on the internet, with billions of TikTok users viewing the hashtag “rizz.”
The OUP stated that the term has become popular on social media, demonstrating how the internet can bring niche language into mainstream use. According to them, this phenomenon is not new, but with the speed of communication on the internet, linguistic evolution and the spread of new words can happen much faster than before.
The increase in the popularity of rizz demonstrates how younger generations are creating their own spaces, whether online or in person, where they can shape and define the language they use. As generation Z begins to have a greater influence on society, these differences in perspectives and lifestyles are reflected in the language they use, from activism to dating and broader culture.
The OUP’s team of language experts chose eight words for this year’s shortlist. Afterwards, the public voted on the list in late November, narrowing it down to four finalists. The final decision was then made by Oxford lexicographers.
Over 30,000 individuals who appreciate language contributed to determining the winners of word or phrase matchups. “Rizz” was chosen over “beige flag” (a characteristic that suggests a partner or potential partner is dull).
Other terms that were not included were “parasocial” (referring to a one-sided, unreciprocated intimacy felt by a fan or follower for a well-known figure), “heat dome” (a persistent high-pressure weather system over a specific location), and “de-influencing” (the act of dissuading individuals from purchasing certain products or decreasing their overall consumption).
In the previous year, the general population had the chance to select the ultimate champion, and an astounding 93% selected “goblin mode” – a colloquial phrase that refers to behavior that is unapologetically self-indulgent, lazy, slovenly, or greedy.
According to Casper Grathwohl, the head of Oxford Languages, observing numerous individuals engage in discussions and arguments about language emphasizes its influential role in aiding us to comprehend our identities and make sense of current events.
Since “goblin mode” seemed to strike a chord with many people during the pandemic, Grathwohl noted that it is intriguing to now see a contrasting term like “rizz” gaining attention. This may reflect the current mood of 2023, where more individuals are beginning to open up and embrace their true selves after a difficult period, leading to a newfound sense of confidence.
In the past, Oxford lexicographers have selected “vax” (2021), “climate emergency” (2019), and “selfie” (2013) as their words of the year.
Are you familiar with these slang terms used by Generation Z?
POV is an abbreviation for “point of view”, which describes an individual’s perspective on a particular situation, encompassing their physical position, opinion, or attitude.
Lore is often used to describe hidden or miscellaneous details about an individual’s past.
Tea refers to gossip or confidential information, commonly used in expressions such as “spill the tea” to indicate sharing interesting details.
When something has a special or appealing quality that resonates with you, it is described as “hitting different”.
A covert rendezvous between two individuals with romantic interest, often used to characterize a casual intimate encounter or a friends-with-benefits arrangement.
Heather is a term used to describe a highly desirable individual who is well-liked by everyone, inspired by the song “Heather” by Conan Gray which portrays the experience of being in love with someone who is already in love with a girl named Heather.
Choose Me Girl A female who pretends or presents herself as different from other women in order to attract the attention of men.
To be disregarded, disregarded, or not given appropriate respect.
A convenient method of dining for girls involves selecting (typically small) food items from the refrigerator and artfully arranging them on a plate.
This phenomenon, known as the “Canon event,” emerged following the debut of Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse. It describes a significant occurrence that alters the trajectory of one’s life and cannot be disrupted.