Nov 3 2013 10:00am

Outlander-ish Dialogue: Jamie Fraser’s Jamie-isms

Sam Heughan as Jamie FraserFans of Outlander by Diana Gabaldon are familiar with the oh-so-sexy Scottish brogue of Jamie Fraser, Jamie-isms, many of us call them. His turn of phrase, wit, and heartfelt whispers to his beloved Claire make us laugh sigh, and swoon every time.

Who is this man behind such memorable words? He is a twenty-something Scot with attitude, a keen sense of humor, a confident sense of self, loyal to a fault, and so in love with his woman. He can take the most tense or sexy situation and find a way to make you (and Claire) laugh in spite of yourself.

My favorite line is from Jamie and Claire’s wedding night; our hunky virgin hero isn’t even at a loss for words during such a delicate moment. I snort out loud every time I read this!

“Does it bother you that I'm not a virgin?”

He hesitated a moment before answering. “Well, no,” he said slowly, “so long as it doesna bother you that I am.” He grinned at my drop-jawed expression, and backed toward the door.

“Reckon one of us should know what they're doing,” he said. The door closed softly behind him; clearly the courtship was over.

Well, that surely eased the tension and let’s just say he did just fine. Mighty fine indeed. He has many more sexy bits that make my girly bits tingle and my knees buckle a bit.

I laughed again, feeling light-hearted as a sixteen-year-old myself. “So you married me,” I teased, “to avoid the occasion of sin?”

“Aye. That's what marriage is good for; it makes a sacrament out of things ye'd otherwise have to confess.”

Ah, only this lad would find a way to bring the church into the bedroom, make it drop dead sexy and funny at the same time. But I also think it make the reader see how important his religion is to him. He is, after all, a virgin when he marries. Most men of the time had their knickers at their ankles every chance they could get. Jamie had plenty of opportunity, but he believed in the sanctity of marriage and the beauty of what it means to make love to your wife.

Once he garners enough experience with his new wife in the sack he doesn’t hold back and all I can say is HA CHA CHA!

“Open your legs,” he whispered. "I mean to be sure you’ll remember me while I’m gone.”

What wife wouldn’t want a reminder now and then….

“I’m sorry. I didna mean to hurt ye. But I do want to be in you, to stay in you, so deep. I want to leave the feel of me deep inside ye with my seed. I want to hold ye so and stay wi’ you ‘til dawn, and leave you sleeping and go, with the shapes of you warm in my hands.”

Now, his gift of the gab isn’t all for the bedroom. He has the most tender way about him. Not many of us are blessed with a partner who has such a way with words. Jamie sees others' strife, like his brother-in-law, and finds his own blessings within them and isn’t afraid to share them with his beloved.

“I was crying for joy, my Sassenach,” he said softly. He reached out slowly and took my face between his hands. “And thanking God that I have two hands. That I have two hands to hold you with. To serve you with, to love you with. Thanking God that I am a whole man still, because of you.”

My favorite Jamie-ism is his use of the word Sassenach. The word Sassenach literally means Outlander, foreigner, someone not to be trusted. He takes this word for who Claire is and turns it into a term of endearment. I can hear the roll of his tongue with that deep sexy brogue. Never has an insult been so sexy!

“Murtagh was right about women. Sassenach, I risked my life for ye, committing theft, arson, assault, and murder into the bargain. In return for which ye call me names, insult my manhood, kick me in the ballocks and claw my face. Then I beat you half to death and tell ye all the most humiliating things have ever happened to me, and ye say ye love me.” He laid his head on his knees and laughed some more. Finally he rose and held out a hand to me, wiping his eyes with the other. “You're no verra sensible, Sassenach, but I like ye fine. Let's go.”

Witty, funny, and firm. What’s not to like? He’s even funny when making out.

“Where did you learn to kiss like that?” I said, a little breathless. He grinned and pulled me close again.

“I said I was a virgin, not a monk,” he said, kissing me again. “If I find I need guidance, I'll ask.”

Jamie Fraser’s deep sense of honor is what makes me love him so. Honor to country, clan, God, and most of all, his Sassenach, his Claire. Honor is embedded into his DNA and shows through every action and word. When he recalls almost losing Claire, I tear up a bit, every single time.

I prayed all the way up that hill yesterday … I prayed I’d be strong enough to send ye away. I said, ‘Lord, if I’ve never had courage in my life before, let me have it now. Let me brave enough not to fall to my knees and beg her to stay.’ … Hardest thing I ever did, Sassenach.

Ah, his Sassenach… Sigh, swoon, and Ha cha cha! With the series to begin filming we can only hope and pray that they get James Alexander Malcolm Mackenzie Fraser right. They have to. If not, well, I can only imagine what Jamie Fraser would have to say about that.


Charli Mac writes Women’s Fiction and YA Paranormal set in Philly and the South Jersey Shore. Snorts & screams are probable and fist-pumps are highly discouraged at Twitter her @charlimacs.

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Darlene Marshall
1. DarleneMarshall
Jamie Fraser definitely takes the prize for "Hero with whom you'd most like to be stranded in time." I just got a subscription to Starz with Outlander and Black Sails in mind, and now I need to convince my accountant that's a tax deductible business expense.
2. Megaera
Sigh. Except who's that guy in the kilt at the top of the post? He's definitely not my idea of Jamie Fraser. (yes, I know who he is, but still)
Laura Bracken
3. Night -owl
Loved this post!! King of men, indeed! What man could follow?! Sometimes, in my weaker moments, I wish I had never read Outlander( forgive my blasphemous words); because once I read it, and found Jamie, I was ruined for all other book heroes. He has it all; everything you want in a man(fictional of course; I would never put such pressure on a real man; thank God for book boyfriends!), and everything you didn't even know you wanted in a man. For me, he is the King of book boyfriends! Can't wait for this series. I trust DG, when she said that Sam IS Jamie Fraser. From what she said about seeing the auditions it sounds like the actors playing Jamie&Claire are going to be amazing.
Lisa Branford
4. chtease
What a great recap of some of the best Jamie moments. Thanks for sharing this.
We are so lucky that an actor of Sam Heughan's caliber will be bringing Jamie to life for us. Diana's description of his audition video, which she shared again this week on her Facebook page and on her website, totally reaffirms my faith in the producers and casting professionals.
"The man is a Scot to the bone and Jamie Fraser to the heart." - D. Gabaldon
I could not be more excited for the series.
5. Michelle Kelly
You captured some of my favourite scenes. Well done. I canna wait to see Sam Heughan acting out these wonderful scenes. I have so much confidence that he will bring it all to life. Everything I've read or heard about the Outlander series has me so excited. Hollywood has a way with ruining books to movies but I get the true vibe that this is going to be really different and true to the books that I hold so dearly.
6. Jahna
Thank you for this. You hit some of my favorite moments and Jamie-isms. :)

I didn't know who to expect when Sam was cast but once I saw him it KNEW it was Jamie. Diana Gabaldon cemented it for me when she said within 10 seconds of seeing his audtion tape he stopped being Sam and became Jamie.

We all have ideas and images in our heads of what characters in any book look like. We just have to trust in the casting director and the producers that they've done this and us justice and I think they have.
Ron Moore - Executive Producer - has said he has a wife who is an obsessed fan (she's also in costuming) and so he can't let her or us down.

So many of my fave series have been made into movies or TV series. They aren't always the same. But I've loved them (True Blood anyone?)

So let's give it, and Sam a chance. :)
7. Tina_L_S
I love it! He looks fantastic in a kilt. I admit to thinking his hair might be more red at first, but once I thought about it a second I realized that this is much more realistic! I certainly wouldn't mind being stuck in time with him LOL
8. Melanie Friedman
Charli Mac,

Just wanted to thank you for this awesome post and for reminding me of some of my own personal favorite Jamie-isms.

Yesterday we had an interesting discussion about our hero giving Clare a beating after she broke her promise to him and got herself almost drawned and captured by the sadist Black Jack, and endangered all his that aptly named Chapter 22, 'Reckoning' she finally reconciles his behavior as such:

"As we walked, considering the stories he had told me, I couldn't help but admire the job he had done. Without one word of direct explanation or apology, he had given me the message he intended. I gave you justice, it said, as I was taught it. And I gave you mercy, too, so far as I could. While I could not spare you pain and humiliation, I make you a gift of my own pains and humiliations, that yours might be easier to bear."

WOW! Just WOW! I can't tell you how much I value an author that can write such deep stuff.

Which brings me to the picture above and to the young man Sam Heughan who will have to pull off a role of a lifetime. And you know what? I have every confidance that he will replace every 'MY Jamie' into 'THE Jamie'!

Love your blog!

Clare Hoover
9. clareeeyre
Your Jamie-isms are mine too! Wow the qoutes/scenes I love to read over & over again. Sam is a surpurb actor & have no doubt he will take us to those same tingle and knee buckle feelings. Diana said about Sam Heughan "...and it was Jamie Fraser right there in front of me. True. No costume, no makeup, no props, nothing but ques from an off stage casting director, was him." Can not wait to see the whole cast transform these beloved books on to my TV.
Tracy Rubel
10. OutlanderFan1
I'm so happy to see Sam heughan as Jamie. I have to admit that when they cast him i did not know who he was. Once I loomed in to him more, looked at his show reels on YouTube and read the stuff Diana wrote up I thought that's a total Jamie! I started following him on twitter. Talked with him and Diana a few times and knew too. He is 100% Scots. Great body, great looking face and he does the Jamie thing really well, not to mention that he LOVES the roll.

I don't think that they could have picked a better person to be Jamie. Huge fan of DG and her books have been for over a decade. She says that's Jamie and I know its to be true. She did create him after all.

So be watching Outlander on Showcase here in Canada. I've wanted it to be a show since.the very start.
Tracy Rubel
11. OutlanderFan1
I have to say the Jamie-isms were fantastic!!! Great post all around. Loved reading it.

Also have it bookmarked.
12. Donna McGee
I almost hate to watch the show. It will ruin my metal pic that I have of the people in this series. My all time fav. Books
13. DCMurphy
Love this post! All those Jamie-ism's are the dog-earred corners in my book. As for casting, I'm re-reading them all, again, prior to the series and find each new cast member is easily supplanting my previous image. Love Sam Heughan in the role! Admittedly an unknown to me prior to July, I've now watched him in other performances and see that he is extremely talented. He'd read the book prior to his audition and I don't doubt Diana when she says he became Jamie in the audition. He is a chameleon and we won't be let down!
14. DCMurphy
Love this post! All those Jamie-ism's are the dog-earred corners in my book. As for casting, I'm re-reading them all, again, prior to the series and find each new cast member is easily supplanting my previous image. Love Sam Heughan in the role! Admittedly an unknown to me prior to July, I've now watched him in other performances and see that he is extremely talented. He'd read the book prior to his audition and I don't doubt Diana when she says he became Jamie in the audition. He is a chameleon and we won't be let down!
15. Sandie Russo
What a fun and entertaining article! It seems you picked all our fav Jamie-isms too! So excited to see Sam as Jamie and enjoy our fav books come to life on TV! :)

16. KristinChaos
Great article. Loved the quotes you picked and so excited to see Sam as Jamie. I can't imagine anyone better for the part.
17. Heughston Heugligan
It's funny, I never had a *clear* vision of Jaime in my head, and my vision for Claire was hazy too. Some how I couldn't drool over Jamie too much, because to do so would be unfair to Claire - like lusting for your best friend's guy. So I'm thrilled by the casting, because it's finally put a firm picture in my mind. Loved your chosen excerpts - they are some of my favorites. I'm sure they'll make it into the script.
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