The Oxford University Press, which publishes the Oxford English Dictionary, has named “Rizz” the word of the year. It has beaten words such as “Swiftie” and “Situationship” and is mostly used amongst Gen-Z online as a slang for “style, charm, or attractiveness”.
This is an interesting testament to how language is an ever-evolving living thing! It is also a reminder of one of the aspects of our profession - that we are required to keep abreast of new words and their respective meanings as these are crucial when assessing the distinctive character of trade marks.
I can see that a couple of UK applications for the plain word mark RIZZ were filed in June earlier this year, covering beverages and clothes, largely speaking. It seems that the UKIPO has taken the view that these goods have no direct link with the meaning of the word “Rizz" as these applications have progressed to registration. Or was the UKIPO Examiner aware of the meaning of “Rizz” at all? If they are a millennial like myself, maybe they were not.
It will be interesting to see whether being chosen the word of the year by the Oxford University Press will boost the number of businesses wishing to use “Rizz” for the offering of their products/services - perhaps those targeting Gen-Z consumers will be particularly interested in doing so. Now that “Rizz” will be added to the Oxford English Dictionary, I also wonder how UKIPO Examiners will react to potential new trade mark applications comprising this word. Stay tuned!