A senior boy, dressed in his favorite shoes, most approachable outfit, and you of course cannot forget the chain, daps up his friend group. A leap of faith, a step out of the comfort zone, and he is off to a table full of girls, where he introduces himself. He easily makes conversation and is reeking of confidence, which leaves the girls leaning over to each other and whispering about how attractive he is. In this day and age, one would say he has W rizz.
“Rizz is basically how you are when you’re talking to someone, like game, like how you approach someone that you think is cute,” senior Azarel Hardeman said. “How are you going to come up to them and try to get to know them?”
There are a multitude of nicknames someone with a lot of rizz may be given, including some hilariously named ‘rizzard of oz’ or ‘rizzly bear.’
“I’ve seen rizzler, king of the rizz, rizz God, rizzy, rizz master, AJ rizz,” Hardeman said.
According to Hardeman, he heard the word start to be passed around between sophomore and junior year, where he was first introduced to it by his friend group.
“That’s when they would all talk about the ‘rizz God’ and the ‘rizzard.’ Then they’re like ‘AJ, you got rizz,’” Hardeman said. “And I was like ‘what the heck is that?’ And they were like ‘well, let me show you.’ And I was like ‘oh my goodness, I’m the king of the rizz.’”
He then began to incorporate it into his own vocabulary, adding to the daily mix of ‘rizzes’ said.
“I mean, the English vocabulary is basically just like a bunch of sounds and then you put meaning behind the sound. Rizz is up for your interpretation,” Hardeman said. “Not really, rizz means game, but if you feel like that is the definition, you feel like that’s the definition.”
The word rizz originates from the word charisma.
“Rizz is just easy, straight to the point,” Hardeman said. “It’s a good word. It’s something to get you through the day.”
The generational gap between Gen Z, millennials, and Gen X often determines what kind of slang is used. Gen Z has come up with bizarre terms that enter the mainstream quickly because of platforms like Tik Tok.
“In one month, I’ll be an adult and I’ll still be using that. My brother just started using it,” Hardeman said. “Not my oldest one, though. He’s too old for that. I see a lot of old people try to still be young and say ‘rizz,’ so.”
Other Gen Z slang heard often includes words and phrases like ‘slay,’ ‘be so for real,’ ‘ate,’ and ‘mid.’ According to Hardeman, most terms come to popularity from students in athletics, such as football players, but also often theatre.
“Gen Z is a whole different situation,” Hardeman said. “But yeah, how I feel – there’s two different types of people, two different kinds of words, two different crowds.”
Trends like the word rizz often come to fruition very rapidly, ranging from taking a day, a week, or a month to gain traction.
“I guess it does take confidence. It takes being secure about yourself,” Hardeman said. “Just being like ‘you know what? I don’t care what other people think. I’m just gonna do me.’ I wanna use rizz, I wanna use game. I wanna use these words, you know.”
Sophomore Tyler Piatti agrees, noting that starting trends takes belief that knowing certain slang will actually gain popularity and sound cool. According to Piatti, trendy words start as inside jokes and spread through social circles.
“It would be tough if you just started saying something and it flopped. Then it would look stupid,” Piatti said. “So, you need to have enough confidence that you can make other people believe that it’s a good word.”
Hardeman ranks his rizz a 9.9 out of 10, which is due to his comfortability with people he doesn’t know yet.
“I’m not all the way there. So like, if it’s just talking to random girls or something like that, I’m good at that,” Hardeman said. “If I’m talking to someone I really, really like, I get uncomfortable, so deduct a point.”
Rizz takes authenticity and honesty, as Hardeman notes that fake people automatically have L rizz. While some teenagers work tirelessly to attain maximum rizz, others have ‘unspoken rizz,’ where they can effortlessly pull potential romantic interests, with just their energy alone.
“I’m an extrovert, confident. I’m good looking, and that’s not just me saying that, I’ve been told that. What can I say? I’m just myself, really,” Hardeman said. “I’m an actor. I’ve got a lot of stuff going for me, I guess.”