The Wizard of Oz
© 1999 by Raymond Weschler
"Toto, I dont think were in Kansas anymore
Dorothy Gale...................................Judy Garland
A sweet and very innocent girl who lives on a farm in Kansas with her
Aunt, Uncle and dog. After being hit on the head during a tornado, Dorothy falls
into a long and deep dream in which she visits the magical "Land of Oz."
Auntie Em.......................................Clara Blandick
Dorothys Aunt Emily, who has to take care of her niece as well as manage the family farm.
Uncle Henry.....................................Charley Grapewin
Auntie Ems husband, and a loving uncle to Dorothy.
Hunk/The Scarecrow..............................Ray Bolger
Hunk is one of the workers on Auntie Ems farm, but in the land of Oz, hes a gentle
scarecrow who is very sad because he doesnt have a brain (A scarecrow is an object
that is made of straw and shaped like a man, that is placed on farmland to scare birds
away from the crops).
Hickory/The Tinman..............................Jack Haley
Hickory is another farm worker, but in the land of Oz, hes a gentle man made
out of tin metal, who is sad because he doesnt have a heart.
Zeke/The Lion....................................Bert Lahr
Zeke is also a worker on Auntie Ems farm, but in the land of Oz, he is
a lion who is very sad because he does not have any courage.
Miss Gulch/The Wicked Witch of the West..........Margaret Hamilton
Miss Gulch is an old, rich and very mean woman who is determined to have
Dorothys dog killed because he had chased her cat around her garden. In the land of Oz,
she is the Wicked Witch of the West, who threatens to kill Dorothy and her dog (A person
who is "wicked" is very evil and bad, and a "witch" is usually an old, ugly woman who has
Glinda, the Good Witch of the North..............Billie Burke
A "witch" who is not ugly and evil, but in fact very kind and beautiful! She helps
Dorothy get to the city of Oz while protecting her from the Wicked Witch of the West.
Professor Marvel/The Wizard of Oz................Frank Morgan
Professor Marvel is a kind of travelling peddler or salesman, with a strong interest
in magic. In the Land of Oz, he is the Wizard of Oz himself (A "wizard" is a man who
also has great and magical powers).
Dorothys much loved pet, and perhaps the most famous dog in the history of the movies.
This film is the amazing story of Dorothy Gale, a very sweet and innocent girl who
lives with her aunt and uncle on a poor farm in the state of Kansas (Its not clear
when it was supposedto take place, since the book The Wizard of Oz was written in 1902,
but the movie was not made until 1939, and there are no obvious references to suggest
an exact date). One day Dorothy decides to run away from home in order to protect her
little dog, Toto, after a horribly mean woman named Miss Gulch threatens to have him
killed. Dorothy and Toto leave to discover the world, but after meeting a strange yet
kind man named Professor Marvel, she decides to return to her home a few hours later,
just as a tornado hits the farm. She is hit on the head as the tornado strikes, and
instantly falls into a deep, color filled and magical dream.
Dorothy finds herself in a fascinating world called the Land of Oz, where evil witches
and good witches, tiny people called Munckins, and various talking animals all live.
She is treated as a hero by the Munchkins, because her house had fallen on, and thus
killed, the Wicked Witch of the East. But Dorothy soon discovers that this Witch had a
sister, the Wicked Witch of the West, who is still very much alive. Glinda, the good
and beautiful Witch of the North, makes sure that Dorothy is protected from this other
Wicked Witch, by placing on Dorothys feet magic ruby slippers (red shoes), that have
great powers, and that the Wicked Witch of the West very much wants to have.
Although Dorothy loves many of the wonderful things about this new world, she very much
wants to return to her home and family in Kansas. Glinda tells her that unfortunately,
the only person who could help her get back to Kansas is the great and powerful Wizard
of Oz, who lives far from Munchkinland, in the city of Oz. Thus, while wearing the
magical slippers, Dorothy heads off with Toto on a long journey to Oz, by carefully
following the famous yellow brick road that will lead them there.
On the way to Oz, Dorothy becomes friends with three magical characters, all of whom
decide to join her, both to protect her, and to see if the Wizard can also help each of
them. Her three new friends are the Scarecrow, who wants the Wizard to give him a brain,
the Tinman, who wants the Wizard to give him a heart, and the Lion, who wants the Wizard
to give him some courage. Dorothy meets one after the other, and all the while, she must
face the constant threats of the Wicked Witch of the West, who does everything she can
to prevent Dorothy and her friends from reaching their destination.
Eventually though, they do reach the city of Oz, but before the Wizard will give them
what they desire, they must face the Wicked Witch one last time. After doing so, all
of Dorothys friends seem to get what they had wished for, and Dorothy herself learns an
amazing lesson about friendship, family and the way to get back to her beloved home in Kansas.
A quick note on the films popularity: At least in the United States, The Wizard of Oz
is probably the most widely known and recognized movie in the history of the cinema.
It is shown every year on national television, and it is often the first movie that
every generation of new parents show their young children. The songs within the movie may
be as familiar to most people as anything by the Beatles or Beethoven, and word for word,
there are probably as many famous and universally recognized lines as any play by
Shakespeare. Beyond all this, it has become one of the most loved films ever made, by
both children and adults.
A quick note on the language: Although this is "a childrens story," the vocabulary in
this movie is extremely rich, and a lot of the language is said with great sarcasm and
humor that only adults would really appreciate. Being over 60 years old, some of the English
is now very dated, but most of the dialog remains surprisingly fresh. Most importantly though,
many of the characters speak very quickly and with strange accents, although you should get
used to them as the movie goes on.
A note on the asterisk (*): Much of the dialog is sung in wonderful songs, which are
sometimes difficult to understand. An * before any entry in the glossary below means that
the words being explained are sung rather than just spoken.
Some Words and Expressions that You May not Know
Dorothy arrives home, upset and scared after Miss Gulch threatens Toto.
This story has given faithful service to the young in heart.
Note that the correct expression today is "the young at heart."
Well go tell Uncle Henry and Auntie Em.
Put here to remind you that an immediate future should take the "pronoun+will
contraction" form, even though "well" is a bit difficult to pronounce for many.
This old incubator has gone bad, and were likely to lose a lot of our chicks.
An "incubator" is a small box or machine for keeping eggs alive until they hatch.
"Chicks" are baby chickens, and, of course, a colloquial word for teenage girls or
She hit Toto right on the back with a rake just
because he gets in her garden and chases her cat!
A "rake" is a gardening tool with a long handle.
He cant catch that nasty old cat anyway!
A great little adjective meaning very unpleasant, mean, or even ugly.
And now she says that shes going to get the sheriff!
The "sheriff" is the head of the local police department.
Listen honey, I got them hogs to get in.
A "hog" is another word for a pig.
You aint using your head about Miss Gulch.
When someone tells you to use your head, theyre telling you to be smart or think
carefully. Note that aint is used throughout the dialog, but you should avoid it.
In this case, youd say arent.
I have so got brains! :: Why dont you use them?!
A bit old-fashioned but cute way of referring to intelligence in general.
Your head aint made of straw, you know!
A dry material made from dead plants, often used to make baskets.
Get in there before I make a dime bank out of you!
A funny thing to tell a pig, but there it is! I have never heard the
expression "dime bank," though you should know a dime is 10 cents.
Listen kid, are you going to let that old Gulch heifer go and buffalo you?!
"Kid" is a very common word for a child, used here affectionately. The sentence as
a whole makes no sense today, though its probably worth knowing that a "heifer" is
a pregnant cow and a buffalo is a large cowlike animal
"Are you going to let that
woman scare you?"
The next time she squawks, walk right up to her and spit in her eye!
"To squawk" is to make a loud, high crying sound, the way birds do.
Whats the matter? Going to let a little pig make a coward out of you?
A critical word for a person who is always scared, or has no courage.
Whats all this jabbering when there is work to be done?
"To jabber" is to talk quickly and unclearly.
I know three shiftless farmhands who will be out of a job before they know it!
"Shiftless" is an interesting word for lazy, and "farmhands"
are people who work, obviously, on a farm.
I saw you tinkering with that contraption! Now get back in the wagon!
"To tinker" is a nice little verb meaning to try and fix something, often when
you dont really know what youre doing. A "contraption" is a machine that looks
unfamiliar or confusing, and a "wagon" is a four wheeled vehicle for carrying things
that is often pulled by horses.
Someday theyre going to erect a statue to me in
this town. :: Well, dont start posing for it now!
"To erect" means to put up something (such as a statue).
"To pose" is to sit very still, usually for a photographer or artist.
These are fried pastries, often made with lots of sugar.
Dorothy toppled in! :: Its no place for Dorothy in a pigsty.
"To topple" is to fall over. A "pigsty" is a small fenced area for pigs,
though it is frequently used as a word for a very dirty room or house.
Go feed those hogs before they worry themselves into anemia!
"Anemia" is a condition of weakness caused by too little iron in the blood.
Its unlikely anyone would say anything like this sentence today.
Dorothy, you always get yourself into a fret over nothing!
"To get into a fret" over something is to get upset, worried or angry.
* There is a land I heard of, once in a lullaby.
A "lullaby" is a gentle song used to get children to fall asleep.
* The dreams that you dare to dream really do come true.
"To dare" to do something is to do it, even if it may be very dangerous.
"Whats she done?" Im all but lame from the bite on my leg.
"Lame" is a dated word for physically disabled or handicapped.
That dog is a menace to the community;
Im taking him into the sheriff to be destroyed!
"Menace" is a powerful word meaning threatening or dangerous. Note animals
are often "destroyed," which is a curious way to say killed.
Im the one who ought to be punished!
You can send me to bed without supper!
"Supper" is a very old-fashioned way to say dinner.
Hand over the dog, or Ill bring a suit thatll take away your damn farm!
"To hand over" something is to physically transfer it. A "suit," in this case,
is a law suit, and "damn" is a somewhat crude adverb used to show intensity or
emotion (and perhaps the only crude word used in this movie!)
What if hes kept tied up?
"To tie up" an animal is to keep it roped or chained to something
like a fence, so that it cant move beyond a certain distance.
Here is the order allowing me to take him,
unless you want to go against the law!
In this case, this is a legal order from the sheriff, though in
reality, its usually a judge who would write up such demands.
Now youre seeing reason.
Another way to say "Now youre acting logically."
You wicked old witch!
"Wicked" is a wonderful adjective that means completely
evil or bad, and is often applied to witches.
Just because you own half the county doesnt
mean you have the power to run the rest of us!
A "county" is an administrative division of a state. Most states have a dozen or
more counties. Here, Auntie Em uses "to run" as a way of meaning to control or rule.
For 23 years Ive been dying to tell you what Ive thought
of you, but being a Christian woman, I cant say it!
If you are "dying to do something," this means you very much want to do it.
Note that "Christian women" are not allowed to use dirty words.
Im so glad!
A useful alternative adjective for happy or satisfied.
Dorothy and Toto run away from home,
and soon meet the mysterious Professor Marvel.
Weve got to get away, to run away!
"To run away" is a key phrasal verb, used when children leave home
because theyre upset or feel their parents dont understand them.
[sign] Professor Marvel presents the crowned heads of Europe.
A "crown" is the decoration of jewels that kings and queens
wear on their heads to show their power or position.
And who might you be?
A poetic way of saying "Who are you?"
Youre travelling in disguise.
If one travels in disguise, they are usually
claiming to be a person that they are not.
Its just like you could see what was inside of me!
Today, one would say "Its just like you could read my mind."
I never do anything without consulting my crystal first.
"To consult" is an official verb meaning to talk with, in order to get
information or advice. The "crystal" here refers to a "crystal ball," which
is used by wizards and others to predict the future.
This is the same genuine, magic, authentic
crystal used in the days of the pharaohs of Egypt.
"Genuine" and "authentic" both mean real or true, as opposed to
fake or imitation. The pharaohs were the kings of Ancient Egypt.
Julius Caesar first saw the approach of Cleopatra, and so on and so on
"And so on" is a way to end a sentence when there
are too many details to continue saying everything.
Close your eyes, in order to be better in tune with the infinite.
For most people, this is a nonsense sentence that means nothing. Yet even today,
a person into "new age" philosophy might say that being "in tune with the infinite"
is a way to "know" the universe.
Well gaze into the crystal.
"To gaze into" something is to look carefully at, or stare into it.
I see a house with a picket fence and a barn with a weather vane.
A "picket fence" is a type of low pointed fence that millions of Americans put in
their front yards when they buy a house in the suburbs. A "weather vane" was a
common object found on farms, used to see how strong the wind was blowing.
Shes wearing a polkadot dress, and her face is careworn.
"Polkadot" is a pattern for clothes, with lots of dots of different sizes.
"Careworn" is a nice way to describe a face that has aged from worrying.
I had the measles once.
A common childhood disease (like chicken pox and the mumps).
Better get under cover; Theres a storm blowing up, a whopper!
In this case, "to get under cover" is to find physical protection.
A "whopper" could be anything thats huge or powerful, though today,
alas, its most commonly known as a Burger King hamburger.
Speaking in the vernacular of the peasantry
"Vernacular" is an educated word for language, and the "peasantry" refers to poor farmers,
although strictly speaking, peasants existed in Europe, but never really in America.
Dorothy tries to return home, but soon finds
herself in Munchkinland, far far away.
Its a twister!
A tornado, or the powerful and deadly storm with a whirlwind center.
Everybody in the storm cellar!
Underground hiding shelters that are common in the American Midwest,
because twisters are a frequent menace.
We must be up inside the cyclone.
Another word for twister or tornado.
Toto, I have a feeling were not in Kansas anymore.
One of the most famous lines in the history of the movies!
Im a little muddled.
"Muddled" is a nice little word meaning confused.
I beg youre pardon, but Ive never heard of a beautiful witch before.
This is a somewhat dated but still used expression that is used when
the listener either didnt hear or doesnt understand what was just said.
Its Muchkinland, and you are their national heroine, my dear.
A female hero. In fact, "hero" can be used for a man or woman.
* The wind began to switch, the house,
to pitch, and then the hinges unhitched.
You dont really need to know that "to pitch" can, as here, actually mean to fall forward,
but you should know that hinges are the connecting parts that hold doors to walls while
they swing, and if something becomes "unhitched," it becomes disconnected.
* And the witch went flying on her broomstick
thumbing for a hitch...and what happened then was rich!
"Broomsticks" are the long wooden sticks that all evil witches use to fly through the air.
Note that even today, one can still "hitch a ride," which is to stick out ones thumb in
hopes that a passing car will stop and pick you up (i.e.
to hitchhike). In this context,
if something is "rich," this means that it is wonderful, or possibly clever or ironic.
* The house landed on the wicked witch in the middle of a ditch!
A "ditch" is a shallow U-shaped hole in the ground,
which is often used for water to flow.
* She began to twitch, and was reduced to a stitch!
"To twitch" is to move suddenly and quickly, and often refers to a body part that moves
just before a person dies. A "stitch" is the movement of a needle while sewing, but in
this context, it has no real meaning.
Let the joyous news be spread, the wicked old witch at last is dead!
"Joyous" is a powerful adjective referring to those things which cause great happiness.
"To spread" means to distribute widely across an area (News can spread around the world,
though you can also spread butter on toast). "The" is noted here because its use in this
scene is a stunning violation of grammatical rules, because in fact, much to Dorothys
confusion, there were two wicked witches!
* Ding dong, the witch is dead
.which old witch?
The wicked witch
This is the sound a door bell makes when you ring it (at least in English!)
* Wake up, you sleepyhead, rub your eyes, get out of bed.
A great and still used word for a person who is
very sleepy, especially when they first wake up.
* Shes gone where the goblins go...below, below, below...
"Goblins" are evil spirits or ghosts, and a word feared by children.
As mayor of the Muchkin City, in the county
of the Land of Oz, I welcome you most regally
To welcome a person "regally" is to treat them as if they were a king or queen.
Weve got to verify it legally, to see if she is morally, ethically, spiritually,
physically, positively, absolutely, undeniably and reliably dead.
"To verify" something is to confirm that it is true. This sentence
may be one of the greatest uses of the English adverb ever.
* As coroner, I must aver, I thoroughly examined her, and
shes not only merely dead, shes really most sincerely dead.
A "coroner" is a person who examines dead bodies to determine the cause of death.
"To aver" is a legal verb meaning to officially declare. "Thoroughly" means completely,
and "merely," in fact, means only.
This is a day of independence for all the munchkins and their descendents!
"Descendants" are ones children, grandchildren and the future
generations that come from them.
* We represent the lullaby league, and in the name of
the lullaby league, we welcome you to Muchkinland.
A "league" is a group of people or organizations that join together
to work for some goal, in this case the singing of lullabies.
* We represent the lollipop guild...
"Lollipops" are candy suckers that kids love, and a "guild" is an
organization of people that share the same profession or interests.
* From now on, youll be history and we will glorify youre name.
"To glorify" a person is to greatly praise, respect
or honor them, often beyond what they really deserve.
* Youll be a bust in the hall of fame!
A "bust" is a statue of a persons head, and the "hall of fame" is a building where the
greatest people of a particular profession or place are honored for their accomplishments.
The Wicked Witch of the West appears, but the Good Witch of the
North makes sure that Dorothy is protected by the magic ruby slippers,
as both Dorothy and Toto begin the long trip to the city of Oz.
Arent you forgetting the ruby slippers?
"Ruby" is a deep red color, and "slippers" are a type of soft shoe for
wearing indoors. Here, though, they are hard, and worn everywhere.
Keep tight inside of them; Their magic must be very
powerful or she wouldnt want them so badly.
An interesting way of telling Dorothy to never take them off.
You stay out of this, Glinda, or Ill fix you as well!
If you tell someone to "stay out of this," youre telling them to not get
involved in the situation. Here, "to fix" someone means to cause them harm,
although this usage is a bit old-fashioned.
Rubbish! You have no power here!
"Rubbish" means trash, although, as here, it can also mean nonsense!
Be gone! :: Very well, Ill bide my time.
"To bide ones time" is an interesting expression meaning to wait
patiently for the right moment to act. A classic line for a witch!
Its true, I cant attend to you as Id like, but just try and stay out of my way!
A witchs way of saying "take care of you."
Ill get you, my pretty!
I imagine that only a witch would use "pretty" as a noun!
Oh, what a smell of sulfur!
A chemical powder, created, for example, when you strike a match.
He lives in the Emerald City, and thats a long journey from here.
An "emerald" is a smooth green stone, and while the Emerald City refers
to the city of Oz in this movie, it is also used today for Seattle.
Never let those slippers off your feet, or youll
be at the mercy of the wicked witch of the West!
To be "at the mercy" of someone is to be completely helpless
to stop them from doing whatever they want to you.
All you do is follow the Yellow Brick Road!
"Bricks" are a type of clay stone used for making buildings, roads, etc.
* Youre off to see the Wizard, the Wonderful Wizard of Oz!
If a person is "off to" do something, they are in the process of leaving.
* Youll find he is a wiz of a wiz, if ever a wiz there was!
"Wiz" is short for wizard, and in fact is often used colloquially
in the expression "a whiz kid," which refers to a very smart child.
Dorothy meets the Scarecrow, who decides to go with her to Oz.
Thats funny; Wasnt he pointing the other way?
"To point" is a critical verb meaning to signal or
show direction with ones hands or fingers.
Some people without brains do an awful lot of talking, dont they?
To do "an awful lot of" anything is an interesting alternative
to the simpler "a lot of." This whole sentence is a clever reference
to people in general, and perhaps politicians in particular.
Its very tedious being stuck up here all day long with a pole up your back.
"Tedious" is an excellent adjective meaning boring, or long and tiring.
If a person is "stuck" someplace, they cannot move or free themselves.
A "pole" is a thin round stick or post, usually made of wood or metal.
Thats very kind of you!
This is an excellent but underused word meaning nice or polite.
Boo! Scat! You see, I cant even scare a crow.
"Boo" and "scat" are words you would scream if you want to scare an animal or child.
* I could while away the hours, conferring
with the flowers, consulting with the rain.
"To while away" time is to pass time doing nothing in particular,
except perhaps relaxing. "To confer" with a person is to talk with them.
* My thoughts would be busy hatching
"To hatch" is what an egg does, when it cracks open to let loose a chick.
* Id unravel any riddle for any individual.
"To unravel" a riddle is to solve it, and the
"riddle" itself is a difficult question or mystery.
* With the thoughts youd be thinking, you could be another Lincoln.
Reference to President Lincoln, who was in office during the American
Civil War, and is considered one of the best leaders in US history.
Would the wizard give me some brains? :: I couldnt say,
but even if he didnt, youd be no worse off than you are now.
Note that in certain contexts, "I couldnt say" means "I dont know."
Id face a whole box full of lighted matches for a chance of getting some brains.
"To face" something can mean to fight, or survive against it.
What do you think youre doing?! How would you like
someone to come along and pick something off of you?
This is the type of a question a parent would ask a child who
just did something that they considered bad or inappropriate.
Are you hinting my apples arent what they ought to be?
In this context, "to hint" is to gently suggest, with indirect words.
Little green worms!
Tiny grey and yucky tube shaped insects, that are often found in apples.
Dorothy and the Scarecrow meet the Tinman,
who joins them on their trip to Oz.
A can for carrying motor oil and other similar liquids.
My goodness, he cant talk!
An old-fashioned but still used way to express surprise.
Ive held that ax up for ages.
An "ax" is a tool with a sharp blade used for cutting trees. If you have
done something "for ages," you have done it for a very long time.
I was chopping that tree.
"To chop" is a strong verb meaning to cut with a heavy tool, like an ax.
I rusted solid, and have been that way ever since.
When metals start "to rust," they become covered with reddish brown
particles that makes it difficult for the metal to be moved in any way.
If the Tinman "rusts solid," no part of his body will be moveable.
Bang on my chest if you think Im perfect.
"To bang" is to strike or hit forcefully, often while making lots of noise.
What an echo!
An "echo" is a sound that is repeated after reflecting off of a
wall or other surface. They are commonly heard in caves.
The tinsmith forgot to give me a heart. No heart, all hollow.
A "tinsmith" is an old word for a worker who makes things out
of tin or metal. If something is "hallow," it is empty.
* When a mans an empty kettle, he should
be on his mettle, and yet Im torn apart.
A "kettle" is a metal pot with a lid, while "mettle" refers to the courage or desire
to continue. In this case, to be "torn apart" means to be emotionally upset or miserable.
* Id be friends with the sparrows, and the
boy who shoots the arrows, if I only had a heart.
"Sparrows" are pretty birds. The boy who shoots the arrows refers to Cupid, the figure from
Greek mythology who shot arrows into the hearts of others so that they would fall in love.
* Just to register emotion, jealousy, devotion, and really feel the part.
"Devotion" is a powerful word that means dedication or loyalty.
In this case, "the part" refers to an acting part in a play or movie.
* I could stay young and chipper.
"Chipper" is a cute little colloquial word meaning happy and playful.
Suppose the wizard wouldnt give me one when we got there.
"Suppose" at the beginning of a sentence means "What if
Helping the little lady along?
"To help someone along" simply means to help them make progress.
Ill stuff a mattress with you and Ill use you for a beehive!
This is the wicked witchs way of saying that she will take the straw that the
Scarecrow is made of and use it to make a mattress. A "beehive" is a home for bees,
which, I suppose, would be a painful thing to be if you were a scarecrow.
I dont like this forest; Its dark and creepy.
"Creepy" is a great adjective which describes anything that causes
a feeling of strong fear or disgust, such as snakes or ghosts.
Lions, tigers and bears, oh my!
An alternative way of saying my goodness, or wow!
The Lion joins Dorothy, the Scarecrow and the Tinman on their trip to Oz.
Putem up, putem up! Which one of you first?
This is the Lions way of telling the Scarecrow and the Tinman to raise their
hands and fight. Note that in rapid speech, "Put them up"----> "putem up."
Ill fight you with one paw behind my back.
A "paw" is the word for a cat or other animals hand.
Oh, pulling an ax on me, eh? Sneaking up on me, eh?
"To pull something on" someone is to threaten to harm them, in this case with an ax.
"To sneak up on" someone is to secretly approach them from behind, so that the person
cannot see what is happening.
Come on! Get up and fight, you shimmering junkyard.
"Come on" is the greatest and most versatile phrasal verb in English,
often taking on the meaning of the words that follow. Here, it is simply
used as a challenge to fight. "Shimmering" means shining or reflecting light,
and a "junkyard" is a place with lots of junk, like used car parts.
Put your hands up, you lopsided bag of hay!
"Lopsided" refers to anything that is too heavy on one side, or not balanced. "Hay"
refers to dried grass or straw, such as the type with which the Scarecrow is made.
Now, thats getting personal, Lion!
If words start "getting personal," this means they are insulting
to the person themselves, as opposed to what the person believes.
Yes, get up and teach him a lesson!
In this context, to "teach a person a lesson" is to punish
them for their abuse of power or other mistakes.
Shame on you!
What a parent might say to their child who has badly misbehaved.
Its bad enough picking on a straw man,
but when you go around picking on poor little dogs
"To pick on" someone is to physically or emotionally threaten
them, in order to scare them or make them feel vulnerable.
My goodness, what a fuss youre making!
"To make a fuss" about something is to get emotionally upset
or angry about it, even if it is not that important or significant.
Why dont you try counting sheep? ::
That doesnt do any good, Im afraid of them.
A clever line; Doctors will often tell their patients to count sheep
jumping over a fence, as a way of getting them to fall asleep.
Wouldnt you feel degraded to be seen in the company of a cowardly lion?
"Degraded" is an excellent and powerful adjective which means
humiliated or highly embarrassed. A person (or lion) who is
"cowardly" is one who is a always afraid, or has no courage.
Gee, thats awfully nice of you. My life has been simply unbearable.
"Gee" at the beginning of a sentence is used to express emotion such as happiness or
surprise. If something is "unbearable, " it is extremely difficult to deal with or support.
Its been in me so long, I want to tell you how I feel.
The Lions way of saying hes kept his feelings and fears to himself.
* Its sad, believe me missy, when youre
born to be a sissy
without vim or verve.
A "sissy" is a word children use to describe a person who is always scared.
"Vim" and "verve" both refer to joy and energy.
* But I could show my prowess (be a lion,
not a mou-ess), if I only had the nerve.
"Prowess" refers to great skill or strength. In this case, "the nerve" refers to courage.
* There is no denying
Im just a dandy lion.
A phrase made famous by this scene; A lion that is harmless
or even agreeable, but not dangerous or threatening.
* a blizzard...lizard...gizzard...
A "blizzard" is a storm, a "lizard" is a reptile that looks like a snake,
and a "gizzard" is an organ near the stomach in certain birds.
The Wicked Witch tries to stop Dorothy
and her friends before they get to Oz.
When I gain those ruby slippers, my power will be the greatest in Oz!
A very dated use of the verb. Today, you would say "When I get
Something with poison, but attractive to the eye, and soothing to the smell.
"Attractive" is an important adjective meaning pleasant.
"Soothing" means calming or comforting.
A type of well known and pretty flower.
Come to think of it, 40 winks wouldnt be bad.
"Come to think of it" is an excellent expression one would use after having
reflected further on a situation. Another way to say this would be "On second thought
"40 winks" is a colloquial expression referring to a nap or short period of sleep.
I cant budge her an inch.
"To budge" something is to move it just a little. An "inch"
is a small unit of measure, about .025 meters long.
This is a spell, this is!
A "spell" is a strong fascination or other odd condition often caused
by a magic powder, created by witches and others with magic powers.
Its no use screaming at a time like this.
If it is "no use" doing something, this means that there is no point in trying,
because it will not help. A very useful and common expression.
Curses! Somebody always helps that girl.
A funny little word that expresses anger when used alone. In the singular,
a "curse" is an appeal to the Gods to bring harm to a person.
Im still great enough to conquer her, and woe to those who try and stop me.
"To conquer" someone is to completely defeat them. "Woe" is an old but fun
little word meaning great misfortune or sadness, and is usually used in
the curious expression "woe to those who
Lets get out of here!
A very common and colloquial way to say "Lets leave."
March up to the gate and bid it open!
A very dated way of saying "Ask them to open the gate."
What notice?! :: Its on the door, as plain as the nose on your face.
A "notice" is a written document, and, as here, can be posted anywhere, including a door.
The second sentence is a colloquial way of saying that its easy to see or notice.
[sign] Bell out of order, please knock.
If something is out of order, it doesnt work. "To knock" is
to hit or tap, and the verb to use when dealing with a door.
Thats more like it! Now, state your business.
An old-fashioned way of asking "Why are you here?"
"To prove" something is to show clearly that it is true. This is
a common way to express doubt when you dont believe what was said.
Well, bust my buttons, why didnt you say that in the first place?
A wonderful but completely ridiculous and dated expression which
shows great surprise or delight. "To bust" something is to break it.
Thats a horse of a different color! Come on in!
Another wonderful and ridiculous expression, but this one is still used today.
Another way to say "Thats a different or unrelated situation."
Dorothy and her friends enter the
City of Oz and finally see the Wizard.
Cabbies take you any place in the city? :: We does!
A cab is a taxi, and thus "cabbies" are taxi drivers (or in this case,
horse Carriage drivers). Note the intentionally strange verb conjugation
in the sentence that follows.
Ill take you to a place where you can tidy up a bit.
"To tidy up" is an important phrasal verb meaning to wash oneself,
or to clean up a room. "A bit" is another way of saying a little.
And you never will, I fancy.
"I fancy" is a very British way of saying "I think."
Theres only one him, and hes it.
A grammatically interesting way to describe the colored horse.
* Thats how we laugh the day away, in the merry old land of Oz.
"To laugh the day away" is, naturally enough, to spend all your time laughing.
"Merry" is an old but still used word for happy or cheerful.
* Pat, pat here, pat, pat there, thats how we keep you young and fair.
"To pat" is to tap, or hit gently. In this case, "fair"
is an old-fashioned way to say attractive or handsome.
* We can make a dimple out of a frown.
A "dimple" is a tiny hole in the surface of the skin. A "frown" is a face
that shows displeasure or anger by the way the mouth is formed.
* Can you even dye my eyes to match my gown?! Jolly old town!
"To dye" something is to change its color. "To match" two things is to make
sure they look good together. A "gown" is a long or formal dress. "Jolly" is
a dated word for happy or cheerful.
* Clip clip here, clip clip there, we even give
the roughest paws that certain air of savoir faire.
"To clip" something is to cut or trim it, and is often done to nails or hair.
"The roughest paws" are those paws (cat hands) that have long nails. To have
"a certain air" of something is to clearly have something that others can see.
"Savoir faire" is a French expression that is used in English, and means
social grace, elegance or perhaps tact.
"To surrender" is to accept defeat, or more colloquially, to give up.
Whatever shall we do?!
A poetic way to simply ask "what should we do?"
Everything is all right.
A widely used and important alternative to OK.
The great and powerful Oz has got matters well in hand.
One way of saying that Oz has the situation under control.
Nobody can see the great Oz! Not nobody, not nohow.
A rare and very colloquial way of saying "not in any possible way."
I got a permanent just for the occasion.
In this case, a type of haircut that is designed to last a long time.
Hell announce us at once!
"To announce" the presence of someone is to let it be known that they
have arrived, though this is a bit old-fashioned way of saying it.
Ive as good as got my brain.
A very slangy way of saying "I almost have my brain"
Long live the king!
What people often scream to a king as he looks
down on them from a high balcony in his castle.
* My real robes would be satin, not cotton and not chintz.
"Satin" is a type of very smooth, shiny and expensive
cloth, while "chintz" is a type of cheap cotton cloth.
* Id command each living thing, be it fish or fowl...with a royal growl.
Note the use of a "be it x or y" grammatical structure to express a choice. "Fowl" refers
to chickens or other similar birds. A "growl" is the noise a lion makes ("rarrrhhhhhh
* Each rabbit would show respect to me, the chipmunks genuflect to me.
A "chipmunk" is a cute little animal similar to a squirrel. "To genuflect"
is to bow down or bends one knee, in order to show great respect.
* Monarch of all I survey.
A "monarch" is a ruling king or queen, and in this case,
"to survey" is another way of saying to see, or look out on.
Your majesty, if you were king, you wouldnt be afraid of anything?
This is the way people are supposed to address kings and queens.
What makes the muskrat guard his musk? Courage!
A "muskrat" is a cute animal that lives in the ocean. "Musk" is the
type of strong smelling chemical that animals like the muskrat secrete.
Courage! :: You can say that again!
An excellent expression to use when you strongly agree with something that was just said.
The Wizard says "Go away!"
A critical alternative way of simply saying leave!
Id sooner wait outside.
A curious way of saying "Id prefer to wait outside," but there it is.
If you please, I am Dorothy
the small and the meek.
"If you please" is a very respectful way of starting to address a person.
"Meek" is a nice little word meaning humble, submissive or weak.
Oh, Jimmeny Crickets!
A very dated way to express emotion such as surprise or anger.
You clinking, clanking, clattering collection of caliginous junk.
An insult without mercy! "Clinking, clanking" and "clattering" all refer to the
kind of noise that might be made from a glass or plate which is breaking. "Caliginous"
is a very educated word for dark or gloomy or very sad, and "junk" is an important word
for trash or discarded objects that are no longer useful.
Yes Sir, yes, Your Honor.
The words you use to address a judge, or, perhaps, a wizard.
You have the effrontery to ask for a brain,
you billowing bale of bovine fodder.
"Effrontery" is a strong but somewhat dated word for nerve or boldness. "To billow"
means to rise in waves, while a "bale" is a tightly packed mass of straw, cotton or
other material. "Bovine" is a wonderful word that simply means cow-like, and "fodder"
is food for animals such as horses. Another insult without mercy!
Yes, I mean your excellency, your wizardry.
Some may still address a very powerful political or religious figure as
"your excellency," but I wouldnt it! "Your wizardry" is just ridiculous.
You ought to be ashamed of yourself, frightening him like that.
"To frighten" is an excellent alternative verb meaning to scare.
Silence, whipper snapper!
A "whipper snapper" is a funny expression that usually
refers to little children who have lots of energy.
The beneficent Oz has every intention of granting your requests.
"Beneficent" is an educated adjective used to describe a person who
does good for others. "To grant" means to agree to give or permit.
But you must prove yourselves worthy by performing a very small task.
In this context, "worthy" is another way to say deserving.
A "task" is small job or assignment that needs to be done.
Dorothy and her friends head off to find the broomstick of
the wicked witch, and soon find themselves in very big trouble.
[Sign]: Haunted Forest: Id turn back if I were you!
If a house (or forest) is "haunted," it contains ghosts, or perhaps the spirits
of dead people. And speaking of dead things that arent, note the use of the
subjunctive verb tense ("were"), still used to this very day!
I believe there are spooks around here.
A "spook" is a spirit or ghost, and is usually scary (or "spooky").
Youll believe in more than that when Im finished with you.
In this context, note that "to finish with" someone
is to severely punish or even kill them.
I sent a little insect on ahead to take the fight out of them.
"To take the fight out of" a person is a way to say exhaust or tire them.
They sure knocked the stuffing out of you!
"To knock the stuffing" out of someone is to seriously physically harm,
or beat them up. "Stuffing" is the material that a thing is made out of.
And you my dear, what an unexpected pleasure.
This is what some would say to a person who comes by their house without
calling ahead of time, even if its not really a pleasure at all!
Give him back to me! :: All in good time, my little pretty!
A classic witchs line; "All in good time" is a way of saying
eventually, or perhaps, sometime in the future.
Throw that basket in the river and drown him!
"To drown" a person (or dog) is to kill them by forcing
them to stay underwater so they cannot breath.
Fool that I am, I should have remembered.
A poetic use of grammatical variation, with the noun before the
verb; Rare, but correct! A "fool" is a silly or perhaps stupid person
These things must be done delicately, or you hurt the spell.
An excellent adverb meaning carefully, and when
said by this witch, a wonderfully evil word!
Drat, you and your dog!
A very dated way to say damn (i.e.
express emotion such as anger).
Come on, fellows!
A "fellow" is a British way of saying guy.
I hope my strength holds out.
"To hold out" is a phrasal verb meaning to last, or continue.
Thats the castle of the wicked witch!
A castle is a huge building made of rock, and often
the preferred home of various European kings.
We havent got the oil can with us and youve been squeaking enough as it is.
"To squeak" is the high sound that metal parts make when rubbed together,
especially if there is not enough oil between them.
Note that pronouns can be used like proper names in Wh questions!
Guard or no guards, Ill tear them apart.
"To tear apart" somebody is a violent phrasal verb
meaning literally to rip into several pieces.
Talk me out of it!
"To talk someone out of something" is to try and convince them not to do it.
Do you think it will be polite, dropping in like this?
This is a classic line from the Lion. "Polite" is an important word
meaning nice or well behaved. "To drop in" on someone is to visit them,
usually at their home, without telling them, before arriving.
The hourglass is almost empty!
An "hourglass" is an instrument with two glass chambers, in which
the passing of sand from one to the other takes exactly one hour.
The imperative command to use when you think
people are standing too close, or are in the way.
Going so soon? I wouldnt hear of it!
One way of saying "I will not allow that."
Trapped like mice---Rats!
A nice play on words. "Rats" are, of course, animals that are similar to mice,
but when said alone, it is a way of expressing anger or frustration.
Seize them! Stop them, you fools!
"To seize" is to physically grab or hold
Well, ring around the rosy, a pocket full of spears!
This is a reference to a childrens poem that begins "ring around the rosy,"
but the word "spear," which is a deadly weapon with a long handle and pointed
arrow, is not in the original poem!
Thought youd be pretty foxy, didnt you?
This is a somewhat old-fashioned way of saying clever, tricky or sly.
The last to go will see the first three go before her!
This is the witchs way of telling Dorothy that she will be the last to die.
And her mangy little dog, too!
A sad little adjective referring to dogs that have many bald spot
because their hair is falling out, and are just generally not healthy.
Good defeats evil (!!!), and Dorothy and
her friends return to the see the Wizard of Oz.
You cursed brat!
"Cursed" is a dated and funny adjective that means detestable,
or literally, deserving to be cursed, or doomed. A "brat" is a
defiant, rude or ill-behaved person, especially a child.
Who would have thought that you could destroy my beautiful wickedness?
A wonderful sentence with the rarely used nominal form of "wicked"!
Hail to Dorothy, the wicked witch is dead!
" is a dated and ridiculous way of offering great praise and
admiration to a person. Heard in the movies, but not in real life.
We melted her. :: You liquidated her, eh? Very resourceful.
"To liquidate" a person is to kill them, though it doesnt have to be literally
with water, as was the case here. "Resourceful" is an excellent adjective that refers
to a smart person who knows how to effectively use whatever they have available to them.
Do not arouse the wrath of the great and powerful Oz!
"To arouse" is to excite or possibly awaken.
"Wrath" is a very strong word for anger or fury.
Do you presume to criticize the great Oz, you ungrateful creatures?
A "creature" can be any kind of animal, though
it usually does not refer to human beings.
You, humbug! Im a humbug.
A dated word for an imposter or person who tries to trick others.
Anybody can have a brain; Thats a very mediocre commodity.
"Mediocre" is a adjective that means just average. A "commodity"
is a usually a natural product that can be sold, like corn or oil.
Every pusillanimous creature that crawls on
the earth or slinks through the slimy seas has a brain.
"Pusillanimous" is an educated word for a person who has no courage. "To crawl" is to move
on ones hands and knees, the way a baby does. "To slink" is to move around very quietly,
but this is rarely used. "Slimy" is a great adjective to describe anything covered with
a wet and sticky surface, such as a worm. It can also mean dirty or immoral.
What they have is a diploma.
An official document showing a student has completed the
required classes needed to get a degree, such as a Ph.D.
Therefore, by virtue of the authority vested in me, I hereby confer
upon you the honorary degree of ThD---Thats doctor of thinkology.
"By virtue of the authority vested in me" is a fancy way to say "because of the power
that I have been given
"/ "Hereby" is a connecting word meaning therefore or thus,
and "to confer," in this case, means to officially give or transfer. Universities will
often give "honorary degrees" to people for their accomplishments, even though they
never actually went to school there.
The sum of the square root of an isosceles triangle is equal to the square
root of the remaining sides. Oh joy, rapture, Ive got a brain!
The "sum" is the result of two numbers multiplied together, while the "square root"
of 64 is 8 (Its easier to show than define!) An "icoceles triangle" is one in which
two of the three sides are the same length. "Rapture" means great happiness or ecstasy.
You are under the unfortunate delusion that simply
because you run away from danger, you have no courage.
A "delusion" is a strongly held belief that is in fact completely wrong.
Youre confusing courage with wisdom.
"Wisdom" is an important word meaning intelligence, as well
as the quality of having good judgement and common sense.
Once a year, they take their fortitude out of mothballs
and parade it down the main street of the city.
"Fortitude" is an educated word for mental strength or courage. "Mothballs" are
small balls put in clothes that are hung in closets, to keep moths away.
But they do have a medal, and therefore, for meritorious conduct, extraordinary valor
and conspicuous bravery against wicked witches, I award you the triple cross.
A "medal" is any type of metal with pictures or words on it, made to honor a person for
their bravery or various accomplishments. "Meritorious conduct" refers to any worthy or
deserving behavior or actions, while both "extraordinary valor and conspicuous bravery"
are fancy words for great courage. "The Triple Cross" is a famous medal given to people
for their bravery.
Shucks folks, Im speechless.
"Shucks" is an old fashioned but still used way of expressing emotion such as
embarrassment or surprise (similar to gosh or gee). "Folks" is an old-fashioned
but still used word for people, or possibly parents. A person who is "speechless"
is usually too emotional to be able to talk.
As for you, my galvanized friend
This word means both covered with metal, and motivated into action!
Where I come from, there are men who do nothing all day but do good deeds.
"Good deeds" are little selfless acts that help other people.
They have one thing you havent got, a testimonial.
An official word for any type of written declaration that describes a persons character.
This is a small token of our esteem and affection.
A "token" is a small symbol, such as a ribbon or medal, which is often
used to show "esteem," which means respect or admiration.
Remember my sentimental friend, a heart is not judged by
how much you love, but by how much you are loved by others.
"Sentimental" is an excellent adjective that means highly emotional,
in a tender or romantic way. I myself, am a sentimental guy.
"To tick" is to make the short, repeated sound that a clock or watch makes.
Dorothy finally gets her greatest wish,
and learns a lesson she will never forget.
You forced me into a cataclysmic decision!
This is a powerful word that means very serious or even violent.
Are you a clever enough wizard to manage it?
"Clever" is an excellent word for intelligent, or resourceful. To be able
to "manage" something can simply mean to be able to do it.
You cut me to the quick!
An old-fashioned but interesting way of telling someone they
just said what you were already thinking of planning to do.
Im an old Kansan man myself, born and bred in the Western wilderness.
Note that "to breed" means to reproduce when speaking of animals, but if a
person is "bred" somewhere, this means they were raised there. "Wilderness"
refers to land in the country or nature, away from cities.
A balloonist par excellence.
A French term occasionally used in English for the adjective
excellent, but note that as in French, it comes after the noun.
One day, performing spectacular feats of stratospheric skill never
performed by civilized man, an unforgettable phenomenon occurred.
"Spectacular" is an alternative way of saying amazing or sensational. A "feat" is
a little word meaning a great accomplishment, and "stratospheric" refers to a part
of the atmosphere that is very high above the earths surface. A "phenomenon" is
simply any fact or event, although it often refers to something unusual or strange.
Youre looking at a man who has sneered at
doom and chuckled at catastrophe. I was petrified.
"To sneer" is to make a face that shows disgust or contempt. "Doom" is a great
word that means complete destruction or death. "To chuckle" is to laugh or giggle,
and a "catastrophe" is a sudden disaster that causes great suffering. If you are
"petrified," youre very scared or terrified.
I was instantly proclaimed the first Wizard deluxe. In that
balloon, you and I will return to the land of e pluribus unum.
"Deluxe," which means of excellent quality, is an adjective that can also come
after the noun in order to be more poetic or stylish. "e pluribus unum" is a Latin term
that means "one out of many," and while you dont really need to know that, its written
on lots of American money! No joke---look at that one dollar bill in your pocket!
This is the first exhibition ever to be shown.
An "exhibition" is a public show of interest, often in a museum.
Be that as it may, we are about to embark on a hazardous and
technologically unexplainable journey to the outer stratosphere.
"Be that as it may" is a useful expression that means "Even though that is the situation
"To embark" is to begin a trip on a boat, or in this case, a balloon. "Hazardous" is
another word meaning dangerous.
I will confer, converse and otherwise hobnob with my brother wizards.
In this case, "to confer" is to discuss, as is "to converse." "To hobnob" is a
great verb meaning to talk, drink and be friendly with, often with people who are
powerful and famous.
I hereby decree that Scarecrow, by virtue of
his superior brain, shall rule in my stead.
This is the Wizards way of saying that because he is
now so smart, the Scarecrow should rule in his place.
This is a highly irregular procedure, absolutely unprecedented.
If something is "unprecedented," this means its never occurred before.
I learned that if I ever go looking for my hearts desire
again, I wont look further than my own backyard.
A sweet way to refer to great wants or wishes.
Toto too? :: Toto, too!
Two of the most famous lines in the history of the movies!
Dont cry, youll rust so dreadfully.
A nice adverb meaning horribly.
Ill miss the way you used to holler for help before you found your courage.
"To holler" means to yell or scream.
Close your eyes and tap your heels together three times,
and think to yourself, Theres no place like home.
"To tap" is to very gently hit against something. "Heels" are the back part
of the foot, or the raised part of a shoe underneath the foot.
She got quite a bump on the head. We thought she was going to leave us.
"Quite a + noun" is an excellent way of implying that the noun, in this case
Dorothys bump, is serious or noteworthy. The second sentence is Uncle Henrys
way of saying they thought she was going to die.
The Wizard Of Oz
Some Potential Questions for ESL Class Discussion
1. Was this movie made for children or adults?
2. Does the fact that it was made in 1939 seem important?
3. Many people today still use the phrase "I dont think were in Kansas anymore."
In what situations are people likely to say that?
4. Who were your favorite characters?
5. Between the Scarecrow, the Tinman, and the Lion,
who do you relate to the most?
6. Why do you think this film is still so popular?