The Rise of Rizz: Oxford Word of the Year 2023 Takes Center Stage
Oxford University Press has recently unveiled its highly anticipated Oxford word of the year for 2023, and it’s not one you’d find in your grandparents’ dictionary. In a surprising turn of events, “rizz” emerged victorious, leaving behind contenders like “Swiftie” and “Situationship.” For those unfamiliar with the term, the victory of “rizz” signals a linguistic shift that has taken the younger generations by storm.
Unlocking the Meaning of “Rizz”
So, what exactly does “rizz” mean? At its core, it encapsulates the level of charisma one exudes when trying to attract someone romantically. Contrary to some modern slang with negative connotations, possessing “rizz” or even being hailed as a “rizz god” is considered the ultimate compliment among the youth today.
The term itself is an abbreviated slang derived from “charisma,” but its journey to linguistic stardom mirrors that of its predecessor, “goblin mode.” Much like last year’s winner, “rizz” found its way into the limelight through the intricate web of social media. Initially surfacing in niche online gaming communities, it quickly transcended its origins to become a viral sensation, featured in GIFs and TikTok videos that captured the essence of “rizz.”
From Niche to Mainstream: Tom Holland’s Role in the Rizz Revolution
While the roots of “rizz” may be traced back to specific online subcultures, its meteoric rise to ubiquity was accelerated when actor Tom Holland casually dropped the term in an interview last year. With Holland’s endorsement, “rizz” officially crossed over into the mainstream, infiltrating conversations across age groups and demographics.
Casper Grathwohl, President of Oxford Languages, reflects on the phenomenon, stating, “Rizz is a term that has boomed on social media and speaks to how language that enjoys intense popularity within particular social communities can bleed into the mainstream.” Grathwohl emphasizes the speed at which words from internet culture shape day-to-day vernacular, with “rizz” serving as a prime example of this linguistic evolution.
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The Lexical Contenders: Beyond Rizz
While “rizz” claimed the coveted title, it faced stiff competition from a diverse array of contenders on the Oxford University Press shortlist. Words like “de-influencing,” “beige flag,” “parasocial,” “prompt,” and “heat dome” each tell their own unique story of linguistic evolution in 2023. The selection process highlights the dynamic nature of language and its ability to reflect societal shifts and emerging trends.
As we bid farewell to 2023, “rizz” stands tall as the word that defined the year, leaving an indelible mark on the lexicon and serving as a testament to the ever-changing landscape of language in the digital age.
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