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Oxford Crowns Rizz as Word of The Year

By Fatima Naysa

As the end of 2023 approaches, Oxford continued its annual tradition of picking a word that captures the essence of the year. To decide which word will be chosen, Oxford's team analyzes cultural phenomena, global events and societal movements. 

Last year, Oxford added a public vote where people were able to choose from three words. However this year, the team compiled a list of eight words which were put into competing pairs for the public to vote on. From the four resulting finalists, the team did one last analysis before officially declaring “rizz” as the winner. 

“If you have to look it up, you don't have it...”

According to the Oxford University Press, rizz is short for charisma or someone’s ability to attract another person through charm or style. Rizz can also be used as a verb in the term ‘rizz up’ which means to attract a person. 

Rizz skyrocketed in popularity earlier in the year when Tom Holland responded to a question about the ‘secret’ of his rizz in a Buzzfeed interview. Rizz received a stamp of approval from Merriam-Webster in September, being one of the 690 new words to get added to their dictionary. 

The other finalists included “prompt,” an instruction given to an artificial intelligence program that determines the content it generates; “situationship,” a romantic relationship that is not established; and “Swiftie,” the term used to describe the enthusiastic fans of the pop star, Taylor Swift. Some runner-ups included “beige flag,” “heat dome” and “parasocial.”

The Oxford team chose rizz as the word of the year because it shows how language can be formed and shared within communities. It offers a sense of identity and creativity to future generations so that they can express themselves in shared experiences and legacies. The word also describes the projection that social media has imposed on the voice of the youth. 

People expressed mixed reviews on the selection for this year’s Oxford word . 

Source by Suha Tasfia

The word rizz, which recently cemented itself as a online popular slang term, has been crowned Word of the Year by experts at Oxford.

“I believe that the word “rizz” doesn’t define this year; instead they could have chosen any other word that highlights this year through its global events or pop culture. For example, the word 'Swiftie' as Taylor Swift was voted Spotify Global’s Top Artist,” sophomore Jisha Jinu said. 

“I think Oxford's word of the year being rizz is very funny. I would have never expected that, to be honest. I believe rizz does represent this year, given the amount of social media content about it,” junior Katelyn Vadakkan said. 

Teachers gave their opinions on the word and how rizz captures the essence of 2023.

I always enjoy when the OED announces its word of the year,” social studies teacher Mr. Laugen said. As an English major and an avid reader, one thing I've always loved about the English language is how it's constantly changing and evolving to reflect the times in which we live. Rizz is a perfect example of that. That being said, the more traditionalist in me doesn't like that we are making new words by shortening old words!” 

“In my own home, in my classroom, and in my math department, we talked about it,” math teacher Mr. Basil said. “It not only got me thinking about whether rizz is impactful, but about the slang I grew up with, some of which has stuck and some of which has faded away. Words like radical and mint? They're gone, baby! Words like dude and awesome?  They're too awesome, dude, to be anywhere but on the tip of my tongue every day. I am psyched that rizz is the word of the year. An article I read about it said that ‘if you have to look it up, you don't have it.’ This made me laugh.  Apparently, it comes from the word charisma, but it has subtle overtones a 54-year-old guy would probably miss.”


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