Romantic Gaelic in Outlander: 9 Scottish Gaelic phrases for all you Jamie & Claire’s out there

Outlander depicts the Highlands beautifully, capturing both the scenery and culture by featuring Gaelic, the Scottish tongue that Jamie uses with Claire not just to call her “Sassenach” but also address her romantically.

Based on Diana Gabaldon’s novels, Outlander is admired for its inclusion of Scottish Gaelic and Scots Leid as Gabaldon herself is a huge advocate of Scottish minority languages.

As she wrote the books, Gaelic-speaker Iain MacKinnon Taylor reached out and offered help with translation, while expressing his fear over the looming extinction of Gaelic. In response, Gabaldon said: “Maybe so, but I tell you what Iain – if Gaelic does die, it won’t be because you and I didn’t try.”

This passion can be felt all throughout the Outlander series (dubbed ‘the Scottish Game of Thrones’) especially between the show’s leading romance, Jamie and Claire, who use Gaelic words affectionately.

Valentine’s Day 2023 has passed but there’s always time to learn this romantic Scottish vocabulary and indulge in the romance of the Scottish Highlands that Outlander portrays.

(Note: The following phonetics were made with support from a fluent Gaelic speaker. They maintain, however, that as a non-Latin language with unique vocalisation, standard English phonetics serve only as a well-meaning suggestion. For audio pronunciation please check out LearnGaelic’s online dictionary.)