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Abbreviations & Acronyms, Words

Note 180 – The Latin word ‘viz’

Here are a few facts about the word viz (source: and

  1. It is an adverb and abbreviation meaning ‘namely’
  2. It comes from the Latin word videlicet.  Wiktionary states that “the ‘z’ [in viz] was originally not a letter but a common Middle Latin scribal abbreviation that was used for -et“.
  3. When reading it in a sentence, you might read out ‘namely’ or ‘to wit’
  4. It can be followed by a full-stop
  5. Wikipedia states that viz. is “used to indicate a detailed description of something stated before”. This is in contrast to e.g. and i.e.

An example of its use

A rainbow has seven colours, viz. red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet.

The use of Latin abbreviations

The Little Red Writing Book by Brandon Royal explains that care should be taken when using Latin abbreviations.  Will the reader know what you mean?  It would be wise to think about your audience when using them. 

This blog post forms part of my writing challenge. Don’t forget that you can subscribe to receive my daily blogs by email so that you don’t miss any. Just click ‘sign me up’ on the home page. Alternatively you can follow my blogs on Twitter or my ‘Tips and LuxuriesFacebook page. Requests for future blogs (punctuation/grammar/writing tips) are always welcome.

Until tomorrow…

Freelance writer
Please visit for more information on my services as a freelance writer.

My writing challenge

My other blogs:
Sandra’s space
My OpenLeaf Journey

My Tips and Luxuries website
(includes the introduction to my upcoming book ‘A Gift for Stressed and Busy Parents’)

Twitter: @madeirasandra @tipsandluxuries @OpenLeafJourney

Reference list: and

Little Red Writing Book by Brendon Royal, US (2004)


About Sandra Madeira

I am a full-time working mum with a passion for writing and inspiring others. Subjects I tend to blog about are life skills, parenting, decluttering, worklife balance, etc. At the moment I am on a decluttering mission creating space in my house, garden and mind. I have challenged myself to do at least ten minutes a day and write about it. Have a good day! Sandra Freelance Writer


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