LONDON — Are you good at chatting up or flirting with potential partners? If so, you may already have rizz, even if you didn’t know it.
The Oxford word of the year, internet slang for romantic appeal or charm, is mostly used by young people.
It was one of eight words on a shortlist, all chosen to reflect the mood, ethos or preoccupations of 2023.
The list was narrowed down in a public vote, before Oxford lexicographers made the final decision.
Other contenders ranged from Swiftie to beige flag to situationship.
The word might not mean anything to you if you’re not Generation Z.
But it’s used massively online, with billions of views of the hashtag “rizz” on TikTok.
According to Oxford University Press, which publishes the Oxford English Dictionary, it is defined as style, charm, or attractiveness, and the ability to attract a romantic or sexual partner.
The term is thought to be a shortened form of the word “charisma”.
It can also be used as a verb, in sayings such as “to rizz up”, which means to attract, seduce, or chat someone up.
It’s essentially a newer version of “game”, defined as skill, prowess, and the ability to attract others sexually by using one’s charm.
YouTuber and Twitch streamer Kai Cenat is widely credited as having popularized the term rizz, which he used with his friends.
Usage of the word continued to climb this year, and in June, actor Tom Holland was asked by Buzzfeed about the secret to his rizz.
Holland replied: “I have no rizz whatsoever. I have limited rizz,” before explaining he won over his girlfriend Zendaya by playing the “long game”.
Last year’s Oxford word of the year was “goblin mode”, another slang term describing “unapologetically self-indulgent, lazy, slovenly, or greedy” behavior.
Casper Grathwohl, president at Oxford Languages, said that while “goblin mode” had resonated with many people after the pandemic, “it’s interesting to see a contrasting word like rizz come to the forefront”.
He said the word 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 added that the rise in use of the word rizz proved that words and phrases that derive from internet culture “are increasingly becoming part of day-to-day vernacular”.
The shortlist of eight words was selected by the language experts at Oxford University Press.
That list was then put to a public vote in late November, reducing the field to four finalists, before the experts made the final selection.
In November, the makers of Collins Dictionary revealed their word of 2023 as “artificial intelligence”. — BBC
Read the full article here