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Rizz is Oxford's word of the year for 2023. What does it mean?

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Let me ask you a question. Are you an alluring flirt? Are you a seductive charmer? If yes, then you've definitely got rizz.

CASPER GRATHWOHL: When I was a young person, people would say game. Oh, that person's got game. You know, it's the same concept. Young people find new words to describe these experiences that are universal.

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

The publisher of the Oxford English Dictionary has declared rizz the word of the year. Apparently it comes from charisma. Casper Grathwohl, who heads the dictionary division, explains how rizz rose to the top.

GRATHWOHL: Rizz - it's clearly a youth culture word that's come out of their social media activity, and so much of social media has amplified the voice of youth culture in the mainstream.

INSKEEP: Grathwohl says picking the word of the year is a mix of art and science. Until recently, editors at Oxford University Press would make the call based on spikes in usage and other factors. Last year, they got the public involved and put the finalists up for a vote.

MARTIN: And people chose goblin mode, the unapologetically self-indulgent, lazy, slovenly or greedy habits so many of us struggled with as we tried to return to our pre-pandemic lives. For Grathwohl, going from goblin mode to rizz is a sign of hopefulness.

GRATHWOHL: Something like rizz, where it's about your energy and your ability to sort of attract and to strut, says something about human interaction again and how we're kind of ready again to take part and really connect.

INSKEEP: If you could only be here in this studio with me, people. Michel Martin is here. She's got rizz.

MARTIN: So does Steve.

INSKEEP: She's got rizz.

MARTIN: So much rizz, so much rizz right here.

INSKEEP: Thank you. And look, man, in the - everybody here...

MARTIN: Everybody here.

INSKEEP: ...In the studio...

MARTIN: Everybody.

INSKEEP: ...Has rizz, has rizz. Rizz is NPR News.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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