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Oxford University Press names “rizz” as its word of 2023


The Oxford English Dictionary started naming a word of the year in 2004. Associated Press/Photo by Caleb Jones

Oxford University Press names “rizz” as its word of 2023

The term “rizz” is thought to come from the word “charisma” and is used to describe a person’s style, charm, or attractiveness, according to the Oxford University Press. On Monday, the publisher of the Oxford English Dictionary said that its experts selected “rizz” as the word of the year from a group of four finalists chosen by a public vote. The words “Swiftie,” “prompt,” and “situationship” were the runners-up. Last week, the Merriam-Webster dictionary named “authentic” as its word of 2023.

When did dictionaries start selecting a word of the year? The American Dialect Society in 1990 became the first group to select an English word of the year, according to TIME Magazine. A German publication has been participating in the tradition since the 1970s. Merriam-Webster in 2003 named its first word of the year: “democracy.” The Oxford University Press followed suit in 2004 with its first pick: “chav.”

Dig deeper: Read Lauren Dunn’s report in WORLD Magazine about the return of phonics-based reading.


Lauren Canterberry

Lauren Canterberry is a reporter for WORLD. She graduated from the World Journalism Institute and the University of Georgia with a degree in journalism, both in 2017. She worked as a local reporter in Texas and now lives in Georgia with her husband.


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