Rizz Voted Oxford Word of the Year

Rizz Voted Oxford Word of the Year 2023, Reflecting the Cultural Tapestry of Language Evolution
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Rizz

Black Vernacular, also known as African American Vernacular English (AAVE) or Ebonics, refers to the distinctive linguistic patterns and communication styles that have developed within African-American communities in the United States. It is a dynamic and rich linguistic variety that has roots in the historical experiences of African Americans, including the influence of West African languages, pidgin, and creole languages, and the impact of slavery and segregation. Ever so often some words mainly used within African-American communities flows into the mainstream. Rizz is one of those words. 

This week, the word ‘Rizz’ was named the 2023 Oxford word of the year. Rizz is a term that was popularized by streaming group AMP, which is an acronym for Any Means Possible. The members of AMP include Agent 00 Gaming, ChrisNxtDoor, Duke Dennis Gaming, ImDavisss, JustFanum, and Kai Cenat. 

“Rizz is a colloquial noun, defined as ‘style, charm, or attractiveness; the ability to attract a romantic or sexual partner’. Etymologically, the term is believed to be a shortened form of the word ‘charisma’, taken from the middle part of the word, which is an unusual word formation pattern. Other examples of this word formation pattern include ‘fridge’ (from ‘refrigerator’) and ‘flu’ (from ‘influenza’). ‘rizz’ can also be used as a verb, in phrases such as ‘to rizz up’, which means ‘to attract, seduce, or chat up (a person)’. Expansions into other parts of speech like this can indicate that a word is becoming more prominent in the language.” – Oxford University Press

Rizz being named the word of the year speaks to the influence of Black culture on mainstream culture. It also speaks to how prolific streaming has become as one of the main mediums for how young people consume information.

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