What does rizz mean? Learn why it’s Oxford’s Word of the Year for 2023

By Abby Amoakuh

Updated Jan 5, 2024 at 03:23 PM

Reading time: 3 minutes

Rizz: 2023 Word of the Year

‘Rizz’, a shortened version of the word ‘charisma’ is Oxford’s Word of the Year 2023. The internet neologism describes a person’s unique charm and style that enables them to succeed in every aspect of life and attract romantic partners, of course. Rizz, in essence, is the thing we all want. But how do you use rizz or know if you have it? Sit back while we define rizz and break it down for you.

The rise of rizz

It all started with the word ‘charisma’, as aforementioned, which has been around for ages. However, the good citizens of Southern Baltimore started to shorten it to ‘rizzma’ and subsequently to ‘rizz’. The term rizz started to gain popularity after the editor of Twitch live streamer Kai Cenat, a resident of south Baltimore, started to place it in compilations and thumbnails. Shortly afterwards, the internet went wild and the word was adopted all over the US.

In an interview on No Jumper, Cenat explained: “Rizz is when you’re talking to a girl and, at first, sh*t is not going your way. It’s looking bad for you until you spit game and you’re rizzing them up to where sh*t starts to go your way.”

Rizz was further popularised when British actor Tom Holland aka Spiderman used the word in a viral Buzzfeed interview. That’s when it went global.

Is rizz the same as charisma?

No, rizz is not exactly the same thing as charisma. While charisma is a noun, rizz is usually a verb and sometimes a noun. You can rizz up someone. It’s the act of displaying charisma and charm. Charisma in action, so to speak.

However, with its evolution, the noun was further extended. Cenat is credited with coining the terms ‘W rizz’, which defines a win, and ‘L rizz’, which means a total lack of charisma. Additionally, on Tiktok the term ‘unspoken rizz’ also started to gain traction. It’s when a person is so physically attractive that they don’t need to put in much effort anymore. Nevertheless, it should be noted that this contradicts the original use of the term because, originally, rizz is all about how you carry yourself in conversations.

How to use rizz properly

The best way to use rizz is through its noun function. “Abby got his number ’cause she got mad rizz,” would be a good example of that. When you approach an attractive individual and “rizz them up,” we’d be looking at rizz in its verb state. Still with me here? When we are talking about Abby being such a successful player because she has W rizz, that’s rizz as a noun again. Makes sense, right?

Is rizz really new?

Rizz is not exactly a new concept. It has always been around and is very synonymous with ‘having game’, being able to ‘pull’, or, ‘get b*tches’ if you prefer its more misogynistic iteration. According to Urban Dictionary, rizz describes a “featherless being” with a finesse that can confidently approach and charm “the female species.” Nevertheless, the word shouldn’t be gendered. With its popularisation, rizz was adopted by women, nonbinary and gender-fluid individuals too. After all, you don’t have to be a man to be a straight-up player. Just ask Coi Leray

But enough with the etymology. That’s not all you are here for, is it? Without further ado, here is a definitive list of celebrities and public figures who have certified rizz.

Who has rizz?

Zendaya

 

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A post shared by Zendaya (@zendaya)

Although her boyfriend, Tom Holland, might not have it, she definitely does. Period.

Rihanna

Another definition for rizz could have been a picture of singer, dancer, CEO, and mother of two Rihanna. Just saying.

 

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A post shared by badgalriri (@badgalriri)

Julia Fox

 

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A post shared by Rollacoaster Magazine (@rollacoaster)

Maybe you like her, maybe you don’t but in each case, you’d still have to applaud Fox’s uncanny ability to command attention and make you watch everything she does. Fox is a master of rizz and any claim to the contrary is just hate.

HoYeon Jung

 

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A post shared by Hoyeon (@hoooooyeony)

The model, actress and unofficial main character of Squid Game has more rizz in her tiny little finger than most of us hold in our entire bodies and that’s just facts.

Jennifer Lawrence

Winter Bone. The Hunger Games film series. Silver Linings Playbook. Don’t Look Up. Nuff said.

Barack and Michelle Obama

I am still convinced that we can get them a third term, just forget the US Constitution. We can bring them back, we just have to.

 

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A post shared by Michelle Obama (@michelleobama)

Pete Davidson

@playmakernyrie

Replying to @colep.miller confirmed. Pete’s is the rizz god. #fyp #foryoupage #f #petedavidson #kimkardashian #flirt #dating

♬ original sound - Nyrie Iskandarian

This boy has earned his spot on this list. He just has.

Zac Efron

 

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A post shared by Zac Efron (@zacefron)

He’s been dropping jars since 2006 and proving that we can always bet on him. Facts.

Simone Ashley

 

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A post shared by Simone Ashley (@simoneashley)

A mean girl, a mermaid and the bane of Anthony Bridgerton’s existence. If Simone Ashley can do one thing, it’s outshine everyone else on screen with her. We stan.

Josie Totah

 

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A post shared by josie totah (@josietotah)

Whether it is as an actress or trans rights activist, Josie Totah is an undeniable powerhouse who oozes charisma and charm in every single thing she does.

Idris Elba

I mean, who doesn’t feel the rizz exuding from the body of Idris Elba? Throw him in every conversation and watch people shudder with pleasure and excitement, that’s how intense it is.

Do you have rizz?

Now, this is really a question only the people around you can answer. So, go on, get to it, start asking. And that just about wraps up our round-up of rizz and who exactly has it.

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