Oxford University Press has named ‘rizz’ as its word of the year

by Gabriel Martinez
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Word of the Year

Oxford University Press has designated “rizz” as its word of the year, underscoring the term’s popularity among Generation Z in describing one’s capacity to allure or captivate another person. This choice prevailed over contenders like “Swiftie” (denoting an avid Taylor Swift fan), “situationship” (referring to an informal romantic or sexual relationship), and “prompt” (signifying an instruction issued to an artificial intelligence program) in the annual selection process conducted by experts at the esteemed publisher responsible for the comprehensive Oxford English Dictionary.

These four finalists emerged through a public vote, with the victor being unveiled on Monday. “Rizz” is believed to derive from the middle of the word “charisma” and serves as a versatile term that can function as a verb, as exemplified by “rizz up,” synonymous with the act of charming or engaging someone in conversation, according to the publisher.

The selection of “rizz” reflects the way younger generations, whether online or in physical settings, carve out spaces where they shape and assert their unique linguistic expressions. As Generation Z exerts a growing influence on various aspects of society, including activism, dating, and broader culture, language becomes a dynamic platform for the manifestation of differences in perspectives and lifestyles.

In parallel, American publisher Merriam-Webster also acknowledged “rizz” as one of the noteworthy words of the year, although it awarded the top spot to “authentic.”

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Word of the Year

What is the significance of “rizz” being named the word of the year by Oxford University Press?

The selection of “rizz” as the word of the year by Oxford University Press highlights its widespread usage among Generation Z to describe one’s ability to attract or seduce another person. It underscores the evolving nature of language and how younger generations are shaping and owning linguistic expressions.

How was the word of the year chosen?

The word of the year was chosen through a process that involved a public vote among four finalists. “Rizz” emerged as the winner among contenders like “Swiftie,” “situationship,” and “prompt.”

What does “rizz” mean and where does it come from?

“Rizz” is believed to originate from the middle of the word “charisma.” It can be used as a verb, such as “rizz up,” which is synonymous with charming or engaging someone in conversation.

What does this choice reveal about language trends and Generation Z?

The selection of “rizz” reflects how younger generations, particularly Generation Z, are actively shaping language, whether in online spaces or in-person interactions. It highlights their impact on various aspects of society, including activism, dating, and culture, and how differences in perspectives and lifestyles are expressed through language.

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