Exploring ‘Rizz’ – Oxford’s 2023 Word of the Year
The Rise of “Rizz”
In 2023, Oxford University Press crowned a rather unconventional word as its Word of the Year: “rizz.” This term, deeply rooted in internet culture and popular among Generation Z, denotes “style, charm or attractiveness” or “the ability to attract a romantic or sexual partner.” It can also function as a verb, such as to “rizz up” a person, meaning to attract, seduce, or chat them up. The word’s evolution from a gaming and internet slang to an Oxford-recognized term is a testament to the dynamic nature of language.
How “Rizz” Entered the Mainstream
“Rizz” first gained traction in 2021, popularized by YouTube and Twitch streamer Kai Cenat. Its usage soared after English actor Tom Holland mentioned it in an interview, saying, “I have no rizz whatsoever. I have limited rizz.” This moment significantly amplified the term’s popularity, leading to a 15-fold increase in usage year over year. Oxford’s selection of “rizz” reflects the increasing influence of internet culture on everyday vernacular.
Using “Rizz” in Everyday Language
The word “rizz” is versatile, used as a noun, verb, or adjective, each carrying its unique context and meaning. As a noun, it represents a state of excitement, energy, or enthusiasm. For example, “The crowd’s rizz was palpable as the band took the stage.” When used as a verb, it signifies the act of elevating or intensifying something, such as in, “The adrenaline rizzed through his veins as he prepared for the race.” As an adjective, it describes an intense or electrifying experience: “The concert was a rizz-filled spectacle that left the audience in awe”.
Rizz in Sentences: Examples and Nuances
Understanding how to use “rizz” effectively in sentences can add a unique flair to communication. Here are some examples:
- Simple Sentences:
- “She walked into the room with an air of confidence, her rizz shining brightly.”
- “His witty remarks always bring a sense of rizz to our conversations.”
- Complex Sentences:
- “Despite facing numerous challenges, she managed to rizz through the difficulties and come out stronger.”
- “His ability to rizz between different languages makes him a valuable asset in the global marketplace.”
Rizz on Social Media
“Rizz” has found a particular home on social media platforms like Instagram and TikTok, where its usage resonates strongly with younger audiences. It’s often used in captions and hashtags to denote charm or wit, exemplifying how social media continues to be a breeding ground for linguistic innovation.
The recognition of “rizz” by Oxford University Press highlights the ever-evolving nature of language and how internet culture shapes modern communication. As words like “rizz” transition from niche online communities into mainstream language, they offer exciting opportunities for creative expression and connectivity across diverse audiences. The journey of “rizz” from an internet slang to an Oxford-acknowledged word demonstrates the power of language to evolve and adapt in a digital age.