The Naming of ‘Oz’
Many of us know and love The Wizard of Oz, one of my childhood favourites; I used to love watching the films and reading the books. But how did the land of Oz come into being.
Frank Baum, the author and creator of Oz, during his works as a chicken rancher, a salesman and a theatre manager, had already created two successful children’s books. When he came to writing about Oz, he had no idea that it would become a successful sequel of amazing stories set in his magical make-believe land and, it is said, in its time became as popular amongst society as greats such as Harry Potter and Narnia are with us today.
So how did he come up with the name? Apparently, he was struggling to come up with an appropriate name for his enchanting land when one day, upon studying his filing cabinets, he saw before him his three labelled drawers: A-G, H-N, and O-Z. And this was the inspiration for Oz.
Dorothy’s character was created in memory of Frank’s wife’s infant niece, also named Dorothy, and the story was a dedication to the lost child.
This little snippet of knowledge has created an urge to revisit my childhood days and follow that yellow brick road and, again, immerse myself in, and read about, the wonderful world of Oz.