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Oxford picks "rizz" as the word of the year

Often associated with celebrities and other famous figures, "rizz" has been chosen by the Oxford University Press as its word of the year. 

It's a term Gen Z has mainly embraced, and it beat out words such as "prompt," "situationship" and "Swiftie" that were considered by Oxford University Press, which publishes the Oxford English Dictionary. But what does it mean?

What does rizz mean?

Under Oxford's definition, it's a noun that means style, charm, attractiveness or the ability to attract a romantic or sexual partner. Oxford said rizz was a shortened form of the word charisma. 

"The word 'rizz' can also be used as a verb, often in the phrase 'rizz up', which means 'to attract, seduce, or chat up (a person),' Oxford said. 

Where did the word rizz come from? 

Its origins have been pegged to Twitch steamer Kai Cenat who has been credited with popularizing the word on the interactive livestreaming platform. He told Complex that it came from him and his group of friends before he said it on Twitch and it spilled across social media. Unlike Oxford's characterization of the term, Cenat said the word is not short of charisma to him, and instead, it "meant game." 

The term has sice evolved to mean different variations of the word rizz, such as "l rizz" and "unspoken rizz."

The word took another level when Spider-Man actor Tom Holland was asked if he had any rizz in a Buzzfeed interview published in June. 

"I have no rizz whatsoever, I have limited rizz," Holland told the outlet. 

"I need you to fall in love with me, really, for it to work," he added. 

Tom Holland Answers 30 Questions As Quickly As Possible by BuzzFeed Celeb on YouTube

Casper Grathwohl, president at Oxford Languages, told the BBC that rizz possibly spoke 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." Grathwohl said the rise of the use of the word rizz also shows that words from internet culture are becoming more part of the everyday vernacular. 

While Merriam-Webster's word of the year was "authentic," rizz was also under consideration. Collins Dictionary selected "artificial intelligence" as their word of the year in November. 

Last year, the slang term "Goblin mode" took the prize as Oxford's 2022 word of the year. Oxford described it as a type of behavior when someone is "unapologetically self-indulgent, lazy, slovenly, or greedy, typically in a way that rejects social norms or expectations."

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