Rizz is the word of the year. But what is it and do you have it?

Welcome friends.

I'm here today to talk about a fun Gen-Z term. It's called 'rizz'.

It also happens to be the 2023 word of the year, according to Oxford University Press. The hilarity is that despite rizz winning the top spot, there's a lot of confusion around what it actually is. And FAIR ENOUGH.

Oxford University Press says rizz is believed to be the shortened form of the word 'charisma' and is used to describe someone's ability to attract another person through style or charm.

But it's so much more than that.

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Video via Mamamia. 

It's not just about charisma, uniqueness, nerve and talent. It's a vibe. 

It's someone who has an edge. Someone who has strong banter, but isn't a class clown. Someone who comes across as cool and collected, but not exclusionary. Someone who can charm, but isn't sleazy or salesman-like.

Basically at its core, rizz is good chat and cool vibes. 


Now it should start to make sense why a picture of Rizzo from Grease is in this article - because she is rizz personified.

The irony of me writing this article is that although I am a Gen Z, I have zero f**king rizz. But I deeply admire the people around me who do.

Chatting with the other fellow youth in the office, I was keen to get their thoughts on some examples of rizz in action. So we began looking at Hollywood's leading celebs and artists, and seeing which ones had the gift bestowed upon them.

The list was long. 

  • Pedro Pascal is the epitome of rizz. You just know he's not only a good time, but a good flirt too, in the best possible way.
  • Taika Waititi. Enough said.
  • For any Saltburn fans out there, Barry Keoghan has X-factor rizz.
  • Also another TV reference, White Lotus' season two Essex guy Jack (played by Leo Vincent Woodall) had some good rizz in his early interactions with Portia (played by Haley Lu Richardson).
  • Florence Pugh arriving in Venice for the Don't Worry Darling premiere in 2022. Instead of attending the press conference for the film, amid rumours of conflict between herself and director Olivia Wilde, Pugh decided to upload an *iconic* IG video. She wore an all-purple outfit, an Aperol Spritz in hand and giving totally unbothered and thriving energy.

This drama is hilarious

♬ original sound - Ryan/Brooke:)
  • Harry Styles oozes rizz. The added sex appeal helps too.
  • I would argue very passionately that Miriam Margolyes exerts a lot of the characteristics reminiscent of rizz. I'm happy to debate this in the comments if necessary.
  • Considering Pete Davidson has dated essentially every woman in Hollywood, he too has been labelled a 'Rizz God' online. 
  • Amelia Dimoldenberg, who is an English content creator and presenter, is the host of the YouTube series Chicken Shop Date, where she goes on purposely awkward-flirty dates with celebrities. Her rizz is unparralelled, especially when it comes to her now-viral interactions with people like Andrew Garfield, Jack Harlow, Ed Sheeran and Keke Palmer.
  • Speaking of Keke Palmer... Keke Palmer. She has to be the queen of rizz. amelia dimz having unparalleled rizz for 1 minute and 22 seconds #fyp #foryoupage #ameliadimoldenberg #chickenshopdate ♬ original sound - amelia’s shop

Of course, there are countless other examples out there. Better ones likely.

But you get the point - rizz is having a major moment.

So where did it actually come from?

All reports suggest that rizz went gangbusters online, mostly on TikTok, when an online streamer and YouTuber called Kai Cenat used the term during a livestream.

Cenat spoke about how he approaches women when there's mutual chemistry, saying it's a colloquial term for banter and flirt all mixed into one.

"Rizz meant 'game,' " he said. "People say it's short for charisma. But like, not to me. You're so slick with your words and what you're saying, to where the girl is like, 'Okay, yeah, who is this?!' After shit goes your way, you're like, 'Yeah, I rizzed her up. I've got mad rizz'."


The term then went even more viral back in June this year, when everyone's favourite short king (another fantastic word) Tom Holland said he has "no rizz whatsover" which is actually entirely untrue.

@snapspright Tom Holland rizz #tomholland #tomhollandedit #fyp #fy #fypシ゚viral #fypシ #fyppppppppppppppppppppppp #rizz #buzzfeed ♬ All the Fun We Had Together - BCD Studio

"I have no rizz whatsoever, I have limited rizz. I need you to fall in love with me, really, for it to work," he said during the Buzzfeed interview. He later explained he won over his girlfriend, actor Zendaya, by playing the "long game" rather than with his effortless charm. 

Oxford University Press' word of the year back in 2022 was interestingly 'goblin mode', and it was a term loved by many, including the Mamamia Out Loud team.

Casper Grathwohl, president at Oxford Languages, noted: "Given that last year 'goblin mode' resonated with so many of us following the pandemic, it's interesting to see a contrasting word like rizz come to the forefront, perhaps speaking to a prevailing mood of 2023 where more of us are opening ourselves up after a challenging few years and finding confidence in who we are."

And Casper, you are right on the money. Rizz is the word. And it's got groove, and it's certainly got meaning. See what I did there? Does that mean I now too have rizz? God I hope so.

Do you have rizz? Do you feel any more enlightened about the term rizz? Do you think rizz is still utterly confusing? Let us know in the comments below! 

Feature Image: Paramount Pictures.

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