'Rizz' beats 'situationship' to be named word of the year 2023 - more Gen Z phrases all parents need to know

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Here are six popular Gen Z phrases all parents need to know.

The Word of the Year for 2023 has been revealed and it is definitely far more common in the Gen Z vocabulary.

Oxford University Press created a shortlist of eight words, all chosen to reflect the mood, ethos, or preoccupations of the past year, and asked the public to vote for their favourite.

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The public narrowed down the shortlist to four finalists: rizz, Swiftie, prompt, and situationship. A panel of language experts, who considered text and audio data, vote counts and public commentary around the words, then picked the winner.

'Rizz' took the crown, with language experts noting it as 'an interesting example of how language can be formed, shaped, and shared within communities, before being picked up more widely in society'. Commonly used in TikTok videos by the younger generation, the colloquial noun - derived from charisma and defined as ‘style, charm, or attractiveness; the ability to attract a romantic or sexual partner’ - shows how Gen Z impacts language and society.

But, if you are not a regular user of social media, you might hear words like 'rizz' and have absolutely no idea what they mean. To help, we've created created a guide, with the help of Yugo, to key Gen Z phrases parents need to know if their kids are in their teens or early to mid twenties, or they just want to keep up with trends.

Gen Z slang all parents should know

  • Rizz: You may hear your child talking about ‘rizz’, and how much 'rizz' somebody has. Short for charisma, it generally refers to how a person acts when they are trying to charm or seduce a partner. For example, if you use a great chat up line at the bar and it works, you’ve got excellent 'rizz'. If you struggle to talk to potential partners, you’ve got negative 'rizz'. It’s a sliding scale.
  • Beige flag: This trending new phrase depicts something mundane about a person that has the potential to put someone off. Lets their dog eat food they’ve dropped on the floor instead of cleaning it up? Beige flag. Always the last one ready even though they outwardly claim to be the most organised? Beige flag. The characteristics are not necessarily good or bad, they might just be a little odd or boring.
  • Cheugy: Cheugy is a word that Gen Z use to describe millennials when they are being particularly… millennially. Got a live, laugh, love sign in your home? Cheugy.
  • It’s the ___ for me: You might have heard your child watching TV and exclaiming ‘it’s the ___ for me’, with the blank referring to something that is happening in the scene. Well, they’re actually referring to something embarrassing or annoying that they can see in the scene. Let’s think of an example. If your child was arguing with you about not being allowed out one night, instead of the usual ‘I hate you mum’ spiel, they might say ‘it’s the lack of trust for me’.
  • Go off/pop off: When your child is complimenting something, instead of saying ‘great job’ or ‘looks amazing’, they might say ‘pop off’. This essentially is a way of expressing excitement or positivity towards somebody else, in a complimentary way of course. Made the best lasagne ever for dinner? Go off, sis. Alternatively, if your child hears someone putting in a great argument, or expressing an opinion they agree with, they may also say ‘pop off’ or ‘its popping off’. 
  • We stan: A ‘stan’ is somebody who is a huge and enthusiastic fan of a certain TV show, film, band, or brand. It originated as a blend of the words ‘stalker’ and ‘fan’, meaning someone who was so obsessed with their passion that they would stalk people involved in it. But, more recently the term has evolved to be less stalker, and more fan. If your child sees someone in a restaurant wearing a cute outfit, they might say, ‘we stan’. If they saw a dog playing enthusiastically in the park, they might say ‘we stan’. They essentially mean that they are a fan of what they are looking at.

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