Why doesn’t Jamie use the name ‘Fanny’ in Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone?

Outlander Season 4 -- Courtesy of Aimee Spinks/STARZ
Outlander Season 4 -- Courtesy of Aimee Spinks/STARZ /

Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone sees the Fraser family grow a little more. Fanny was introduced during Book 8, but she gets more attention in Book 9. One thing we learn, though, is that Jamie will only called her Frances.

Caution: There are some minor spoilers from Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone in this post.

Granted, Frances is her given name. However, everyone at the Ridge calls her Fanny. That is except Jamie.

Claire questions him why he can’t call her Fanny. What is it about the name?

It turns out that Jamie views it as a prostitute’s name. It’s actually linked to something that Roger has told him about the word in the future, but it does also link to something in today. Jamie doesn’t want Fanny to become the thing that she seems to believe she’s destined to be.

The development of the name Fanny

We all know now what “fanny” means around the world. In North America, it’s the term given to the buttocks. In the UK, it’s the term given to a woman’s private parts. You wouldn’t say “fanny pack” in the UK. Instead, the term is “bum bag.”

Jamie has heard about this from Roger. He also knows that the name “Fanny” is used in a book about a prostitute, so he refuses to call Frances that.

Jamie’s own name for Fanny in Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone

So, to get around it, Jamie just calls Fanny “Frances.” That is her name, and that’s the name that he will stick to.

I love that we get this moment and the reasoning. It’s almost like Jamie wants to change Fanny’s fate. She believes that when she starts her period, she’ll be sent away to work as a prostitute. In her mind, that’s all she’s good for, and it’s the reason the Frasers have taken her in. We get that conversation later in Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone.

Of course, we know Claire and Jamie. They would never send her off to work in a place like that. They see her value in so many other ways, and they like her being around. Jamie’s decision to call her Frances almost seems to make that clear.

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What did you think of Jamie’s decision not to call Fanny by her nickname? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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