"Swiftie" Named Word of the Year Runner-Up by Oxford University Press

The dictionary publisher chose "rizz" as the word of the year

BY Ben OkazawaPublished Dec 4, 2023

As if we needed any further proof that Swifties are not to be toyed with nor taken lightly, Taylor Swift's notorious fan base has mobilized and actually gotten themselves a mention in the Oxford University Press's top four words of the year, according to the Associated Press

Chosen via public vote alongside "situationship" ("an informal romantic or sexual relationship") and "prompt," "Swiftie" lost out to "rizz" (a derivative of "charisma" meaning "someone's ability to attract or seduce another person") as the dictionary publisher's word of the year. 

All four are popularly used amongst Gen Z, but "prompt" — defined by the Oxford dictionary as "an instruction given to an artificial intelligence program" — is particularly topical in the entertainment industry as musicians and filmmakers alike continue to debate the application of AI to art. 

"It speaks to how younger generations create spaces — online or in person — where they own and define the language they use," the publisher said. "From activism to dating and wider culture, as Gen Z comes to have more impact on society, differences in perspectives and lifestyle play out in language, too."

Left up to a public vote to determine the finalists, it should come as no surprise that "Swiftie" made the cut. After all, it's the same fan base that's gotten a Travis Kelce song to the top of the charts, waged legal battles against Ticketmaster and publicly dragged Mötley Crüe's Nikki Sixx through the proverbial dirt.

Their success does, however, beg the question: what could possibly be next for Swifties? How can they top being an Oxford word of the year finalist, short of winning the whole thing? Get a life-size marble statue of the singer erected on the moon? We're not quite sure how they'll do it, but we're equally as excited as we are terrified to find out. 

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