Oxford Announces 2023 Word of the Year

A group of language experts and 32,000 votes later, Oxford’s official word of the year is ‘Rizz.’ 

Oxford chooses its Word of the Year on a reflection of the year based on the ‘ethos, mood, or preoccupations’ of society and the word’s cultural significance.

Shortened for charisma, it is defined as a noun for a “style, charm, or attractiveness; the ability to attract a romantic or sexual partner.” It can also be used as a verb in phrases such as ‘rizz up’ where the act is ‘to attract, seduce, or chat up’ another person, according to Oxford. The term ‘rizzler’ has even been used to describe someone with good ‘rizz’.

The usage of the word had increased dramatically throughout the course of 2023, peaking in June after a popular Tom Holland interview in which he was asked about his ‘rizz.’ He famously said, “I have no rizz whatsoever, I have limited rizz.

Receiving the ‘Merriam-Webster stamp of approval,’ it becomes one of 690 added definitions to wrap up the year, about double the amount of words compared to last year’s entry.

Finalists for Word of the Year consisted of ‘prompt’ meaning a noun as ‘an instruction given to an artificial intelligence program, algorithm, etc., which determines or influences the content it generates,’ ‘situationship’ meaning a noun for ‘a romantic relationship that is not considered to be formal or established,’ and ‘Swiftie’ meaning ‘an enthusiastic fan of the singer Taylor Swift.’

Influenced by the rise of Ai, the height of Taylor Swift’s career, romance, and broken, complex relationships, 2023 wraps up the year with words that will be a reminder of an era, one long era shortened to just a single year.

Featured Image Credit: Oxford Languages