Words of the Year: 2023 — People First Content

People First Content
5 min readDec 12, 2023

We’re nearing the end of 2023. This means everyone’s wrapping their presents and sharing their Spotify Wrapped. But most importantly, it’s when the world finds out what the dictionaries deem their “word of the year.”

In 2022, the dictionaries picked words from all over the place — ranging from gaslighting to goblin mode. However, the 2023 picks are a little more connected. Aside from a few outliers, the words seemed to be woven by a common thread. Can you guess the theme?

Without further ado, here are your 2023 Words of the Year.

Cambridge Dictionary


Nope, it’s not an apparition. Cambridge Dictionary’s word of the year is hallucinate. But it isn’t for the reasons you think.

We’re accustomed to associating the word hallucinate with seeing something that isn’t actually there. However, the Cambridge Dictionary has added a new meaning that’s more AI-related. The newly adopted definition is:

“When an artificial intelligence hallucinates, it produces false information.”

Artificial intelligence has certainly been a hot topic of discussion this year. It’s becoming more widely used in various jobs and fields. While we praise its strengths, we must also acknowledge its weaknesses and that it’s not always perfect. Those times when AI fails and delivers inaccurate information are when it hallucinates.

Collins Dictionary

Since we’re on the subject, AI snags their first word of the year award for Collins Dictionary.


AI has truly been an incredible technological advancement because of what it can do. It can create images, quickly discover information, generate audio in the voices of pop culture characters, etc.

It was a huge reason why SAG-AFTRA and WGA went on strike this year. They halted production to fight for not only better wages but also AI protections. So, it makes sense for AI to receive this special honor.

Runner-ups for Collins Dictionary 2023 word of the year include:

  • Bazball: a style of test cricket
  • Deinfluencing: the use of social media to deter users from following certain products, lifestyles, etc.
  • Nepo baby: a person who’s able to advance their career thanks in part to their famous parents
  • Ultra-processed: food that’s prepared using complex methods with ingredients that offer little to no nutritional value
  • Canon event: a pivotal moment that’s essential to the development of a character

Macquarie Dictionary

Cozzie Livs

Next, let’s take a trip across the Pacific and visit our Aussie friends. The Macquarie Dictionary is the dictionary for Australian English. Their 2023 word of the year is something you would never guess in a million years. Their award goes to cozzie livs.

You’re probably thinking, “what in tarnation?” We promise you it will make sense. Cozzie livs is a popular slang term for “cost of living.” See the connection now? The term itself was originally coined in the United Kingdom, but it has somehow found its way to the land down under. It brings some light-hearted humor to what is an ongoing economic issue.

It seems to have resonated with Australians, which is why it is Macquarie Dictionary’s word of the year.


Merriam-Webster kept it real with their word of the year. Their 2023 award goes to authentic.


It is a commonly used word this year but is somewhat hard to define. Authentic could mean something that’s real or actual. But, it could also describe someone who’s true to themselves — character, spirit, or personality.

Celebrities like Taylor Swift and Sam Smith made headlines by stating how they’re trying to be their most “authentic selves.” Authentic is also a word used by many brand and marketing agencies. It’s a strategy they could employ for a brand’s social media channel to better connect with their audience. People resonate with influencers and brands who are genuine.

Lastly, it most certainly applies to artificial intelligence. Thanks to the prevalence of new AI tools, people can easily create deepfake videos and audio of celebrities with accurate detail. Ever scrolled on TikTok and stumbled upon those SpongeBob music covers? It’s unbelievable how real it sounds.

AI has started to blur the lines between real and fake. That’s why authentic is Merriam-Webster’s pick for 2023.

Oxford Dictionary


Last but certainly not least, Oxford Dictionary has chosen their word of the year — and it’s easily our favorite. Can you command a room? If so, it means you probably have a lot of rizz.

This isn’t fake. Oxford Dictionary’s word of the year is rizz. It’s a term that went viral all over social media this year. But don’t worry if you’re clueless about what it means. We’ll explain. Rizz is a shortened form of charisma. It describes someone’s “ability to attract another person through style, charm, or attractiveness.”

So if you woo someone over with your charm, then you, as the kids call it, have rizz. Or they’d say something like, “your rizz game is on point.” We feel so out of touch saying that. It won’t happen again.

Rizz was able to take the coveted top spot over finalists such as:

  • Prompt: an instruction entered in an AI program that tells it what content to generate
  • Situationship: a romantic or sexual relationship meant to be casual and unofficial
  • Swiftie: an enthusiastic fan of Taylor Swift

An Underlying Theme Amongst the Words

As you can see, artificial intelligence played a huge role in the popularity of these words. The wide availability of AI tools, such as ChatGPT, Jasper, Otter.ai, etc., has made it more accessible to users. While it has many upsides, it also comes with several ethical issues.

People can tell when they’re consuming AI-generated content. The writing will sound robotic and void of emotion. What really connects with readers is human-written content. So if you want to step up your content rizz (we’re totally using it wrong), PFC is the place to be.

People First Content is all about creating content by people, for people. We’ll ensure your content is authentic to your brand and connects with your audience on a human level. Let’s connect if you want to learn more.

Originally published at https://www.peoplefirstcontent.com on December 12, 2023.



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