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Oxford Word of the Year revealed for 2023

A romantically themed term is 2023’s word of the year (Myung Jung Kim/AP)
A romantically themed term is 2023’s word of the year (Myung Jung Kim/AP) A romantically themed term is 2023’s word of the year (Myung Jung Kim/AP)

Rizz, a slang term used by Generation Z to describe romantic charm, has been crowned the Oxford Word of the Year for 2023.

The word is believed to be a shortened form of the word charisma and is defined by the Oxford University Press as “a colloquial noun, defined as ‘style, charm, or attractiveness; the ability to attract a romantic or sexual partner’”.

It can also be used as a verb in phrases such as “to rizz up”, which means “to attract, seduce, or chat up (a person)”.

A shortlist of eight words was narrowed down by the public over a four-day voting period until four words were chosen, rizz, Swiftie, prompt, and situationship.

Language experts considered factors including the public commentary around the words to make the final decision.

Valentines Day
Valentines Day A romantically themed term is 2023’s word of the year (Myung Jung Kim/AP)

Oxford University Press said use of the word rizz increased in 2023, peaking in June when Spider-Man actor Tom Holland said in an interview: “I have no rizz whatsoever, I have limited rizz.”

Last year’s Oxford Word of the Year was “goblin mode”, meaning “a type of behaviour which is unapologetically self-indulgent, lazy, slovenly, or greedy”.

Casper Grathwohl, president of Oxford Languages, said: “Given that last year ‘goblin mode’ resonated with so many of us following the pandemic, it’s interesting to see a contrasting word like rizz come to the forefront, perhaps speaking to a prevailing mood of 2023 where more of us are opening ourselves up after a challenging few years and finding confidence in who we are.

“Rizz is a term that has boomed on social media and speaks to how language that enjoys intense popularity and currency within particular social communities, and even in some cases lose their popularity and become passe, can bleed into the mainstream.

“The spike in usage data for rizz goes to prove that words and phrases that evolve from internet culture are increasingly becoming part of day-to-day vernacular and will continue to shape language trends in the future.”

He added: “It has been incredible to see the public once again enjoying being a part of the Word of the Year selection.

“Seeing thousands of people debate and discuss language like this really highlights the power it has in helping us to understand who we are, and process what’s happening to the world around us.”