We’re not in Kansas anymore

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The idiom we’re not in Kansas anymore has an interesting origin. We will examine the meaning of the idiom we’re not in Kansas anymore, where it came from, and some examples of its use in sentences.

We’re not in Kansas anymore is a phrase that means we have stepped outside of what is considered normal, we have entered a place or circumstance that is unfamiliar and uncomfortable, we have found ourselves in a strange situation. The idiom we’re not in Kansas anymore was first used in the movie The Wizard of Oz, a 1939 film based on the L. Frank Baum book, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, published in 1900. In the story, Dorothy Gale is caught in a tornado that transports her and her dog, Toto, into a magical land called Oz. The line, “Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore,” summed up the fact that not only did Dorothy travel away from home physically, but she had traveled to a new reality where anything was possible. Though the movie premiered in 1939, it was a staple of holiday programming on television through the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s in America. The idiom we’re not in Kansas anymore did not become popular until the 1980s.


From the moment the door is opened by the heavily made up Riff Raff (Brad Foster Reinking), and the slinky, slithering Phantoms swarm around them, Brad and Janet begin to realize that they’re not in Kansas anymore, so to speak. (Broadway World)

“We’re not in Kansas anymore,” he joked in a release announcing the venture. (Furniture Today Magazine)

From the hallucinogenic color of Laurie Hogin’s allegorical paintings to the mythic mutations of Robin Whiteman, we are keenly aware that we’re not in Kansas anymore. (The Shepherd Express)

Yup! That is the first moment where you think, “We’re not in Kansas anymore.” (Houstonia Magazine)