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Rizz Becomes Oxford Word Of The Year 2023, Thanks To Spider-Man

‘Rizz’ became the Oxford Word of the Year 2023 and Tom Holland plays a vital role in this. Read more to know what the word means and how Holland influenced this win.

Statue of Tom Holland as Spider-Man
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Oxford University Press announced ‘Rizz’ as the Word of the Year 2023 on Monday. The word left behind top popular words ‘Swiftie’, ‘Prompt’ and ‘Situationship’ to gain this title.

According to Oxford, the word gained popularity among people after actor Tom Holland used it in one of his interviews with BuzzFeed. He said “I have no rizz whatsoever, I have limited rizz”.

What does rizz mean?

Rizz is a ‘Gen Z’ slang popularized by social media. Oxford defines, ‘rizz’ as charisma or one’s ability to attract or seduce someone.  

‘Spider-Man’ gave a strong push to the word to help it reach to top. However, the credit to bring ‘rizz’ to the stage goes to YouTube and Twitch streamer Kai Cenat. Kai created a video in which he gives tips on how to have rizz after which the word gained popularity on TikTok.

A press release by the publishing house stated, “It speaks to how younger generations now have spaces, online or otherwise, to own and define the language they use. From activism to dating and wider culture, as Gen Z comes to have more impact on society, differences in perspectives and lifestyle play out in language, too.”

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Tom Holland (L) and Kai Cenat (R) Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Last year, ‘goblin mode’ had won the title as it reasonated with a lot of people after the pandemic. Merriam-Webster selected ‘authentic’ as the word of the year 2023 owing to constant spike in web searches.

Top Contenders For WOTY23 

This year saw a vareity of quirky and creative words including  ‘Barbenheimer’, ‘Yeet’, ‘Sus’ and many more. Eight words were considered as contenders in the race by Oxford language experts. Out of those, four words were selected as finalists by public voting. Those four words were- ‘Swiftie’, ‘Situationship’, ‘Prompt’ and ‘Rizz’.

‘Swiftie’ is a slang used to define a hardcore Taylor Swift fan. The word won against ‘de-influencing’. De-influencing is a trend on social media where influencers tell their followers why they should avoid buying certain products.

‘Situationship’, meaning a noncommittal romantic or sexual relationship, won against ‘parasocial’. Parasocial means a psychological relationship between a person and someone they don’t know personally.

‘Prompt’ won against ‘heat dome’ as this year saw a rise in use of AI. Prompt refers to the instruction given to an AI tool. On the other hand, heat dome refers to the situation when atmosphere traps hot ocean air.

Leaving all three of them behind ‘Rizz’ won against ‘beige flag’. Beige flag means something that is neither good nor bad but still catches one’s attention.

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