Sassenach means “stranger” , foreigner or “outlander,” and is a nickname that Jamie uses for Claire Beauchamp Randall Fraser. It also refers to people of English descent. It can also be a derogatory term or insult , depending largely on how it is said and to whom .
Outlander‘s Claire Randall is called a number of unsavoury names ranging from witch to whore, but only one eventually becomes a term of endearment: Sassenach.
It means a foreigner. Actually, it’s a less than polite Gaelic word for an English person .
Outlander tours from Edinburgh – daily service to all the top Outlander locations
So how did it become a kind of pet name for Jamie to call Claire ?
It all stems from the fact that Outlander author Diana Gabaldon wanted some Gaelic in her story .
“Very early on I began doing research as much as I could into Gaelic. While I don’t speak Gaelic by any stretch of the imagination, we want a few little terms and sentences scattered around to give a flavour of the language,” Gabaldon said
Sassenach was one of those key terms.
“Well, I had this English woman showing up, and I did know that Sassenach is in fact a fairly derogatory term for someone who is a foreigner, but specifically for an English person given the long and acrimonious relationship between England and Scotland. So, it seemed natural that someone would refer to Claire as a Sassenach,” she continued.
Jamie eventually takes up the term for her, but he doesn’t mean it as an insult.
“To start with, she has a slight idea that it’s a derogatory term, but she knows he’s plainly not trying to insult her. He’s just pointing out that she’s strange,” Gabaldon says.
“As time went on, he adopted it as a term of endearment for her, and because one of the things and only one of the things that attracts him to her, is that she is an English woman. He kind of likes to think of it as ‘I’ve got one of their women.'”
Special offers – daily tours from Edinburgh
Visit Lallybroch Castle ( Midhope Castle ) for just £90 . Hourly service from Edinburgh between 10 am and 2 pm . Phone (+44) 0131-549-9785 for details and bookings . Free pickup and dropoff from Edinburgh. Add two more Outlander film locations – Fort William and Wentworth prison – for a unique tour costing just £150 . Phone 07305-294773 for details and availability of Scotland Tours from Edinburgh .
Private tours Edinburgh – five star reviews .
Sassenach means “foreigner” or “outlander,” and it is Jamie Fraser’s pet name for his wife , Claire Beauchamp Randall Fraser.
as the relationship between Jamie and Claire deepens , Jamie starts to call Claire Sassenach until it becomes a kind of pet name for her . Jamie says it in a playful way without any of the the malice in normal usage
Laotha Naomh Anndra math dhuibh ( Happy St Andrew’s Day )
Outlander phone cases and Gifts
Glencoe features in the opening sequence of Outlander . Take a unique Outlander tour featuring a visit to Lallybroch and Glencoe.
Buy Outlander gifts online . We have over 50 Lallybroch gifts including Outlander throw pillows, face masks , jigsaw puzzles, phone cases, metal prints, t-shirts , travel mugs and lots more . Visit the Outlander gifts shop
Why does Jamie call Claire Sassenach ?
All photography by David Rankin , Pictures of Scotland
Visit the Kelpies gift shop for 50 different photo gifts including jigsaw puzzles , t-shirts , throw pillows, stickers, hoodies and prints of the Kelpies in Falkirk . The Kelpies and the Falkirk Wheel bring in thousands of visitors to the Falkirk area every year .
Who can solve the mystery of Craigh na Dun ?