What Does Rizz Mean? Oxford Word Of The Year 2023

Shutterstock / Jose Calsina © Rizz is Oxford Word Of the Year. Pictured: Smiling,Young,Couple,Flirting,And,Having,Fun,At,A,Rooftop.

Do you have what the kids are calling rizz? The Oxford University Press has crowned this popular Gen Z term as Oxford Word Of The Year 2023


You’re just flirting with us now! This year’s most popular word might make you blush.

Rizz describes a person as having “style, charm, or attractiveness,” or “the ability to attract a romantic or sexual partner”. The word ‘rizz’ can also be used as a verb, often in the phrase ‘rizz up’, which means ‘to attract, seduce, or chat up (a person).

Internet slang is increasingly slipping into everyday conversation and most young people will be very familiar with the word rizz, which could be considered synonymous with having game or good chat up lines.

According to the Oxford Languages website, who publish the Oxford English Dictionary, “The Oxford Word of the Year is a word or expression that has attracted a great deal of interest over the last 12 months. Every year, we debate candidates for word of the year and choose a winner that is judged to reflect the ethos, mood, or preoccupations of that particular year and to have lasting potential as a word of cultural significance.”

According to Oxford, rizz was first documented in 2022 after circulating on social media platforms Tiktok and Instagram. The word then caught mainstream attention following a viral video interview of Tom Holland chatting to Buzzfeed. The young actor bashfully admitted: “I have no rizz whatsoever. I have limited rizz.”

This was one of eight words on this year’s shortlist, which was then narrowed down in a public vote, before Oxford lexicographers made the final decision.

The power of social media, the emergence of artificial intelligence tools and the frenzy of Swiftmania has heavily influenced this year’s finalists for Word Of The Year.


Finalists 2023:

  • Beige flag (n.): a character trait that indicates that a partner or potential partner is boring or lacks originality; (also) a trait or habit, esp. of a partner or potential partner, viewed as extremely characteristic, but not distinctly good or bad.
  • Prompt (n.): an instruction given to an artificial intelligence program, algorithm, etc., which determines or influences the content it generates.
  • Swiftie (n.): an enthusiastic fan of the singer Taylor Swift.


Previous Oxford Word Of The Years:

  • Goblin mode (2022) – a slang term, often used in the expressions ‘in goblin mode’ or ‘to go goblin mode’ – is ‘a type of behaviour which is unapologetically self-indulgent, lazy, slovenly, or greedy, typically in a way that rejects social norms or expectations.’
  • vax (2021)
  • Black Lives Matter, Blursday, coronavirus, lockdown, social distancing and systemic racism. (2020)
  • climate emergency (2019)
  • toxic (2018)
  • Post-truth (2016)
  • selfie (2013)


Feeling inspired? Explore some of our best writing prompts from this year (CLICK HERE)


Hannah McLaren

I've worked at DC Thomson for six years! I began as an intern at My Weekly and The Scots Magazine, which was extended by a few months to help out at The People's Friend. I then covered maternity as Celebrity Editor for My Weekly, before I became Multimedia Journalist at The Scots Magazine. Currently I'm writing digital content across each title.