We’ve been working our way through Outlander, a six-season Netflix series about a woman who is somehow able to travel 200 years into the past through the magic of the stones in an ancient, mystical, Stonehenge-like circle in Scotland. In her visits to the past she has many adventures, and a seventh season, with more adventure, is on the way. The show is part historical fiction that gives you a glimpse of life in Scotland and the world of the 1700s, part Scottish travelogue, and part torrid bodice-ripper about the ever-passionate love and marriage between the time-traveling Claire and Jamie, her devoted Scottish stud.
I won’t spoil the plot for those of you who haven’t watched Outlander. The show definitely makes us want to visit the Scottish highlands, which are presented to beautiful effect. But more specifically, the show makes me appreciate the richness of the Scottish language–so much so that I want to talk like a Scotsman, sporting a thick brogue and having a chance to toss around some Gaelic and Scottish words. The writers for the show clearly understand this element of its appeal: I swear that they just look for opportunities to have one of the characters refer to a “bairn” and pronounce the word as if it has three syllables.
I, too, want to say “dinna fash” and “dinna ken.” I want to refer to young people as “bonny lasses” and “lads” and tell a pub server I’d like a “wee dram.” I’d like for someone to say that I look “braw”–and actually mean it. But most of all, I’d like to have someone ask me a question so that I can pause for a heartbeat, and then say “aye” in a dramatic way.
I can’t travel to the past through picturesque, monumental stones, but I do hope to travel to Scotland one of these days and have the opportunity to participate in some Outlanderspeak.