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What does rizz mean?

Teen slang, explained. If you have to ask, you probably don't have it.
Elvis: The original Rizzard of Oz.
Elvis: The original Rizzard of Oz.Owen Berg / Getty Images

What does rizz mean?

If you don't spend time with teenagers, you may have no idea.

Rizz is short for "charisma," and it simply means an ability to charm and woo a person. It's pronounced, well, rizz, just like it's spelled. The term found its way into teen slang through TikTok and other social media. Rizz isn't being hot — though that can be part of it. And it isn't being cool — although, again, that's a factor.

Rizz, to borrow from slang of generations past, is game.

What does rizz mean? Here are examples

Spider-Man actor Tom Holland recently put the term in the spotlight when he claimed, in a Buzzfeed interview, to be sorely lacking in rizz.

“I have no rizz whatsoever, I have limited rizz,” he said — although his legions of fans may disagree.

Holland pointed out that he is happily in a relationship, so has no need for rizz at the moment.

"It's short for charisma. And it's used to describe somebody who is seductive," says Titania Jordan, Chief Parenting Office of Bark, an online monitoring company that aims to keep kids safe online and in real life, and which carefully tracks teen slang as part of its mission.

Jordan Catalano had rizz (Gen X, iykyk). From the "Star Wars" universe, Han Solo and Lando Calrissian (Calrizzian?) have it. And, I would argue, both the Mandalorian and the actor who portrays him, Pedro Pascal, belong in that category, but here's where we get into personal opinion: Rizz is in the eye of the beholder.

Westley from "The Princess Bride"; Paxton from "Never Have I Ever"; Meg from "Hercules": all potential rizz gods.

Types of rizz

Donkey from “Shrek” has “mad rizz,” according to my 13-year-old son. After all, Donkey did sweet talk a literal dragon into falling in love with him.

“W rizz,” says my teen expert: This is the best kind of rizz, and the opposite of “L rizz,” which would in fact be negative rizz, or actively repelling people.

Comedian Trey Kennedy perfectly nails rizz (and the general experience of living with a middle schooler) in his video.

If you missed the rizz train, don't fret: The term is relatively new.

"We saw it rise in popularity about seven months ago," Jordan says.

What does having rizz, or no rizz, mean?

The opposite of rizz, Jordan notes, is "cringe." Cringe is also what happens when parents try to use their teens' slang. If you're going to attempt it, though, note the usage: A person has (or doesn't have) rizz, but one is (or is not) cringe.

Rizz is not, as my 13-year-old tried to tell me, what kids say when someone studies hard and is really good at school.

“Oh, so when your friends say you’ve got rizz, it means you’re working hard at school?”

Nice try, kid.

Have a little rizz-spect for your mother.