Cheers! Dictionaries Pick Their 2023 Word of the Year

Multiple dictionaries have come out with their Word of the Year. Read on to see which one you think wins top spot!

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This year has been one heck of a time! Just as trends naturally ebb and flow, so does our word usage throughout these past 12 months. Whether it’s social media or celebrity-based, we can always expect a few words to catch on and sink their claws into our vocabulary.

Multiple dictionaries have announced their word of the year and though they aren’t all the same, I think we can agree that they have equally made a huge impact on pop culture and advancements from 2023.

Oxford Dictionary: “Rizz”

Rizz (n); someone’s ability to attract another person through style, charm, or attractiveness, (v) to attract, seduce, or chat up (a person)

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The word, short for charisma, has taken the world by storm and is commonly heard on social media and in regular conversation. It has become a staple in Gen-Z and Gen-Alpha slang since it was first coined this year.

Oxford‘s 2023 Word of the Year was selected by a team of language experts and more than 32,000 votes.

Every year, we debate candidates for word of the year and choose a winner that is judged to reflect the ethos, mood, or preoccupations of that particular year and to have lasting potential as a word of cultural significance.

Oxford Languages

People magazine stated that the other top finalists for 2023 were “prompt”, “situationship,” and “Swiftie.”

Merriam-Webster: “Authentic”

Authentic (adj); not false or imitation, true to one’s own personality, spirit, or character

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Merriam-Webster expressed that authentic was highly searched in 2023, possibly driven by conversations surrounding AI, celebrity culture, identity, and social media.

“Although clearly a desirable quality, ‘authentic’ is hard to define and subject to debate,” Merriam-Webster said.

Use of the term, and its popularity, was driven by AI — which has blurred the line between “real” and “fake.” The dictionary mentioned that celebrities, including Sam Smith and Taylor Swift, made headlines this year by making statements about finding their “authentic voice” and “authentic self,” allowing the word to circulate vastly.

Other words that stood out to Merriam-Webster this year included “rizz,” “implode,” and “dystopian.”

Collins Dictionary: “AI”

‘AI’ (n); an abbreviation for artificial intelligence: the modeling of human mental functions by computer programs

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‘AI’ has been the talk of the town in 2023. Collins Dictionary says that it is considered to be “the next great technological revolution.”

The shortlist for the 2023 Collin’s Dictionary Word of the Year choosing included “de influencing,” “nepo baby,” “canon event,” and “greedflation.”

If you had any doubt that social media didn’t rule the world, I am sure they have been subsided. Every year, more and more slang and pop culture-related editions enter our vocabulary and, ultimately, the dictionary, and frankly, I love to see it. The dictionary feels like a million-page book coated in dust, but I see its attempts at becoming relevant again. We here at Bookstr look forward to the words of 2024!

Click here to read about words added to the dictionary this year from us here at Bookstr!

Browse our Bookshop shelves and find some new words within the pages of the books found there.