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Viz vs. Wiz: What's the Difference?

By Harlon Moss & Aimie Carlson || Updated on May 23, 2024
Viz refers to the abbreviation for "videlicet," meaning "namely" or "that is to say," while Wiz is an informal term for a wizard or a person skilled in a particular area.

Key Differences

Viz is a formal abbreviation derived from Latin "videlicet," used to clarify or specify something mentioned earlier. It translates to "namely" or "that is to say," often seen in legal, academic, and scholarly contexts to provide explicit detail. Wiz, on the other hand, is a casual, colloquial term short for "wizard." It can refer to someone with magical powers in a fantasy context or someone exceptionally skilled in a specific field. This term is informal and frequently used in everyday conversation and popular culture.
Viz maintains its formal tone, often seen in written documents requiring precision and specificity. It ensures the reader understands the exact elements being discussed or listed, adhering to its scholarly and precise usage. In contrast, Wiz conveys a sense of informality and ease, often used to describe someone with remarkable talents or abilities in a particular area. It adds a playful or admirable tone, commonly used in both spoken and written language but not typically in formal writing.
While Viz focuses on clarification and specification in formal contexts, Wiz emphasizes skill and mastery in a more casual, approachable manner. The two terms serve distinct purposes, reflecting their origins and typical usage scenarios.

Comparison Chart


Latin (videlicet)
Short for "wizard"


Namely, that is to say
A wizard, highly skilled person



Typical Usage

Legal, academic, scholarly texts
Everyday conversation, popular culture


Clarification, specification
Skill, talent, mastery

Viz and Wiz Definitions


Used to specify or clarify something previously mentioned.
He visited several countries, viz, France, Germany, and Spain.


Informal term for an expert.
He's a computer wiz and can fix any issue.


Formal way to introduce a list.
The colors available are, viz, red, blue, and green.


A person highly skilled in a particular field.
She's a wiz at solving complex math problems.


Seen in legal and academic documents.
The defendants, viz, John Doe and Jane Doe, are summoned.


A wizard, especially in a fantasy context.
The wiz cast a powerful spell to protect the village.


Abbreviation for "videlicet" (namely).
The committee has three members, viz, John, Jane, and Jim.


Someone with seemingly magical abilities in their expertise.
The tech wiz set up the network in no time.


Provides explicit detail.
The package includes three items, viz, a book, a pen, and a notebook.


Used to describe exceptional talent.
The young chess wiz won the tournament effortlessly.


Clipping of visual


Variant of whiz.


Clipping of visualize


A person who is exceptionally clever, gifted or skilled in a particular area.
A maths wiz


Clipping of visualization


A wizard; an administrator of a multi-user dungeon.


Clipping of visual


Alternative spelling of whiz: an act of urination.
I have to take a wiz.


Clipping of visibility


Pronunciation spelling of with


To wit; that is; namely.


Someone who is dazzlingly skilled in any field


Is "viz" used in spoken language?

Viz is rarely used in spoken language; it is mostly seen in written, formal contexts.

What does "viz" stand for?

Viz is short for the Latin word "videlicet," meaning "namely" or "that is to say."

Is "viz" commonly used today?

Viz is primarily used in formal, academic, or legal texts to provide clarity or specify items in a list.

Can "wiz" refer to something other than a wizard?

Yes, "wiz" can refer to anyone highly skilled or talented in a particular field.

What context is appropriate for using "wiz"?

Wiz is appropriate in casual contexts to describe someone with exceptional skills or talents.

Can "viz" be replaced with "namely"?

Yes, "viz" can often be replaced with "namely" in sentences to provide the same meaning.

Does "wiz" have any formal usage?

Wiz is informal and not typically used in formal writing, but it's common in everyday conversation and media.

Is "viz" related to visualization?

No, viz is not related to visualization; it is an abbreviation of "videlicet."

Are "viz" and "i.e." interchangeable?

While both clarify statements, "viz" is more about listing specifics, and "i.e." is used to rephrase or explain.

How should "viz" be punctuated in a sentence?

Viz is often followed by a comma or colon, depending on the sentence structure.

Is "viz" an abbreviation or a word?

Viz is an abbreviation of the Latin term "videlicet."

What kind of talent does "wiz" imply?

Wiz implies exceptional, often almost magical, talent or skill in a specific area.

Can "wiz" refer to someone in sports?

Yes, someone with exceptional talent in sports can be called a "sports wiz."

Does "viz" require a following list?

Viz usually introduces a list or clarification, but not always.

Can "wiz" be used in professional settings?

Wiz can be used informally in professional settings to describe someone's expertise but is not suitable for formal documents.

Why is "viz" less common in modern writing?

Modern writing tends to favor simpler language, making "viz" less common outside specific formal contexts.

Can "wiz" describe technological expertise?

Yes, "wiz" frequently describes someone with exceptional technological skills, like a "tech wiz."

Is "wiz" gender-specific?

No, wiz can refer to anyone, regardless of gender, who is highly skilled or talented.

Is "viz" related to "vizier"?

No, viz is not related to "vizier"; they have different origins and meanings.

Is there a synonym for "wiz" in formal writing?

In formal writing, terms like "expert" or "specialist" are more appropriate than "wiz."
About Author
Written by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.
Co-written by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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