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What is the etymology of the exclamation 「よし!」?

I mean the one that's made before people decide to take some kind of action (such as standing up, or starting to do the dishes).

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    I always assumed it was just 良し{よし} – Aeon Akechi Jul 5 at 22:37
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It's from 良し, which is the dictionary form of 良い ("good") in classical Japanese. It's just like saying "Good" or "Okay" before making a decision in English. よし is now considered a lexicalized interjection, but 良し is still used in modern Japanese in the sense of "excellent".

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