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'Rizz' is Oxford's 2023 Word of the Year

By Melanie Uson Published Dec 04, 2023 9:28 am

Rizz, a slang for charm or attractiveness, has been chosen as Oxford’s Word of the Year (WOTY) for 2023. 

The publisher made the announcement on Monday, Dec. 4, saying “rizz” bested seven other words, including Swiftie, beige flag, and situationship. 

The public narrowed down the eight selections to four via voting before language experts at the Oxford University Press chose the 2023 WOTY. The winning word is said to embody or sum up the society for the entire year.

“During a year, societal changes can often affect our language: both the words themselves, but also the way in which we use certain words. Sometimes these changes are ephemeral, meaning that although the word is used now, it may not be used (or used in the same way) in the future,” they wrote.

According to Oxford, candidates for WOTY don't need to be newly coined. They should, however, be able to give “extra significance” to global events—positive or negative—as long as it was deemed relevant in the particular year.

“In a world that is increasingly interconnected, it’s fascinating to see how the chosen word serves as a bridge between nations, offering a common ground for dialogue. Word of the Year provides a snapshot of global conversations, transcending borders, and languages,” said Jarita Raga, Marketing Content Specialist. 

One of the prominent usages of this word is by Spiderman star Tom Holland, who joked about having "limited rizz" when it comes to flirting.

“I have no rizz whatsoever. I have limited rizz,” he said in his June interview with Buzzfeed, adding that someone needs to “fall in love with me for it to work.” 

Last year's Oxford Word of the Year was "goblin mode"—a slang for "unapologetically self-indulgent, lazy, slovenly, or greedy" behavior. In 2021, it hailed “vax," another term for vaccine, as WOTY at the height of the pandemic.