You'll Never Be Able To Guess The Wizard Of Oz's Full Name

"The Wizard of Oz" is one of the most iconic stories in American literature, and yet, you might be hard pressed to find someone alive today who's actually read the original book, let alone any of the numerous sequels (the most recent of which, "The Black Rainbow of Oz," was published in April of 2021). While almost anyone on the street would be familiar with the story of Dorothy, the Scarecrow, the Tin Woodsman, and the Cowardly Lion, they almost definitely know it not from the 1900 L. Frank Baum novel "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz," but from the 1939 MGM musical (which dropped the "Wonderful") starring Judy Garland.

If you ever do pick up the Baum series, though, you'll find there's much more to the land of Oz than the movies ever told you. According to History, Baum himself wrote 14 Oz books in his lifetime. He came to resent them; he would have preferred to write more standalone books, but his financial troubles forced him to focus on the guaranteed hits. His last Oz novel was published posthumously in 1920. Along the way he used the series to introduce all sorts of new characters to the "Oz" canon, including Tik Tok the mechanical man, Pumpkinhead the walking jack-o-lantern, and Princess Ozma. And he eventually revealed the Wonderful Wizard's real name.

The Wizard's real name is a mouthful

If you've seen the movie, you know the titular wizard's basic deal: He was a small-time illusionist in the Midwest. While riding in a hot air balloon, he was whisked away to a mysterious land where his magic tricks impressed the locals, who thought he was a wizard and made him their king.

The early books in the series refer to the character both as "the Wizard of Oz" and as "Oz the Great and Powerful," leaving things ambiguous as to whether the land is named after the wizard, or if "Oz" is a title derived from the land. But in the fourth book, "Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz" (in which Dorothy and the Wizard find themselves trapped underground following a California earthquake), Princess Ozma of Oz asks him to finally nail down the answer to the question. Oz claims the land is named after him, telling Ozma that his full legal name is "Oscar Zoroaster Phadrig Isaac Norman Henkel Emmanuel Ambroise Diggs," and that early on in life he decided to go simply by his first two initials, in part because the rest of them spell out "PINHEAD."

Ozma responds that while that's fascinating and all, the land has actually always been called Oz and was always ruled by someone named either Oz or Ozma. So are we to think the whole thing was a wacky coincidence all along? Or else, Baum just wrote those pages at 4:30 on a Friday afternoon.