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Use of the word 'rizz' peaked when Spiderman actor Tom Holland was asked what's the secret to his rizz. Alamy Stock Photo

‘Rizz’ named Oxford’s Word of the Year for 2023

Other contenders included Swiftie, situationship, and beige flag.

AFTER MORE THAN 30,000 votes, ‘rizz’ has been named Oxford University Press’ Word of the Year.

The Oxford Word of the Year is a word or expression that has attracted a lot of interest over the past 12 months.

The list was narrowed down by a public vote, and Oxford lexicographers then choose a winner that “reflects the ethos, mood, or preoccupations of that particular year”.

The word must also have “lasting potential as a word of cultural significance”.

This year, the Oxford Word of the Year is ‘rizz’.

The Oxford Dictionary definition of rizz is: Style, charm or attractiveness; the ability to attract a romantic or sexual partner.

In short, it’s the middle part of the word ‘charisma’.

Rizz can also be used as a verb, often in the phrase ‘rizz up’, which means to attract or chat up someone.

Use of the word increased dramatically this year, peaking in June when Spiderman star Tom Holland was asked about the “secret” to his rizz.

Holland, currently in a relationship with singer and actress Zendaya, replied: “I have no rizz whatsoever.”

Speaking of relationships, ‘situationship’ was a Word of the Year runner-up.

Its definition is: A romantic or sexual relationship that is not considered to be formal or established.

It’s a blend of ‘situation’ and ‘relationship’.

The word is meant to capture the uncertainty and lack of formalisation that many people feel about their relationships.

Meanwhile, Taylor Swift has been breaking musical records and a term coined for her fans nearly won out.

The term ‘Swiftie’ relates to an “enthusiastic fan of the singer Taylor Swift”.

The word was more than 10 times more common in September 2023 than a year previously in September 2022, with a noticeable uptick in the use of the word likely related to coverage of Swift’s Eras tour.

Etymologically, the word ‘Swiftie’ is formed from the singer’s name, with the suffix ‘ie’ (or ‘y’), which is often used to form diminutives or pet names, with an implication of affection.

‘Prompt’ also made the shortlist, due to the increasing prevalence of Artificial Intelligence (AI).

In this usage of the word, a ‘prompt’ is an instruction given to an artificial intelligence program or algorithm.

Other words on the shortlist included ‘beige flag’ and ‘de-influencing’.

A ‘beige flag’ is a “character trait that indicates that a partner or potential partner is boring or lacks originality”.

‘De-influencing’ is “the practice of discouraging people from buying particular products, or of encouraging people to reduce their consumption of material goods, especially via social media”.

Last year’s Word of the Year was ‘Goblin mode’ – a type of behaviour which is unapologetically self-indulgent, lazy, slovenly, or greedy, typically in a way that rejects social norms or expectations.

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