Fun Fact: puke

Posted by Outlander Anatomist | Fun Facts

Starz ep 309, The Doldrums

Anatomy def:  Puke is an English word meaning to vomit or to expunge the gastric contents.

Outlander def:  Jamie’s sea voyage compulsion to hurl his first wife’s ginger tea or anything else residing in his wobbly wame!  Ralph, heave, upchuck, spew, gag, be sick, retch, barf, throw up, regurgitate, emit, and disgorge – we all ken the vicious urgency of a tummy that demands purging!!!

Learn about puking in Anatomy Lesson #46, “Splendid Stomach, Wobbly Wame! Yes, there is an Anatomy Lesson on this less-than-tea-time topic! <G>

BTW, have you assumed the word, puke, is a 20th century invention? Or, have ye ever wondered who invented such a poetic term?

Well, none other than “The Bard,” Himself!  Puke first appeared in Shakespeare’s As You Like It (II. vii. 144):

At first the infant, mewling, and puking in the nurse’s arms,”…

Who knew?

Read about Jamie’s “Battle of the Wame” in Diana’s splendid tome, Voyager! if you haven’t read these marvelous stories, hope you get “on board” soon (hah!).

“Never mind,” I said. I glared back over my shoulder at the heap of reeking bedclothes. It stirred slightly, and a groping hand emerged, patting gingerly around the floor until it found the basin that stood there. Grasping this, the hand disappeared into the murky depths of the berth, from which presently emerged the sound of dry retching.

See Jamie’s agonizing heave hos in Starz ep 309, The Doldrums. His wretched retching caused my own wame to wobble a wee bit! How ’bout you? 😱

A deeply grateful,

Outlander Anatomist


Fun Fact: Grume

Posted by Outlander Anatomist | Fun Facts

grume, blood clot, outlander

Starz episode 307, Creme De Menthe

Anatomy def: Grume is an archaic word for a mass of blood, as in blood clot. Clots form as a protective mechanism designed to staunch the flow of blood from breached vessels. Our modern equivalent term is hematoma.

Outlander def: In another “Claire, what-ha’-ye-done!!!” moment, our good doctor fells John Barton, Esq., by slashing his leg with her wee knife! Puir John trips, falls and strikes his head on the stone hearth.  Let this be fair warning to all excisemen – dinna mess with this Surgical – Sassenach – she is licensed to wield a blade!

Learn about grumes / hematomas in Anatomy Lesson #37, Mars and Scars.

Claire quickly diagnoses John’s injury as an epidural hematoma (epidural bleeding), a type of grume formed between skull and dura (outer covering of brain). Claire makes this diagnosis because:

  • The fall renders the bad-lad unconscious.
  • The left side of his head strikes the stone, imperiling the middle meningeal artery which supplies the dura.
  • Blood drains from John’s left ear, a symptom consistent of a epidural hematoma.

Imaging tests would confirm her diagnosis, but such tests lie 200 years in the far future, so Claire takes her best clinician’s 18th century shot.

Left untreated, a grume compresses delicate brain tissue and may result in fatality! Thus, we witness Claire’s urgency to obtain a trephine (skull drill) from the nearest barber surgeon (18th century Edinburgh likely had one on every street). Drill through the skull to drain the blood and relieve pressure on the brain.

Sadly, her valiant efforts fail: the taxman cometh, the taxman goeth! 😱

Read about blood clots in Herself’s terrific tome, Voyager (grumes appear in pretty much all of Diana’s books!):

Aye, it’s no more than a wee dunt,” he said, smiling up at me. There was a small gash at his hairline, where something like a pistol butt had caught him, but the blood had clotted already.

See Claire wield the wonderfully arcane trephine in Starz episode 307, Creme De Menthe!  Where in the world did Outlander special effects obtain that splendid drill? Fun, fun! Kudos to all!

A deeply grateful,

Outlander Anatomist

FF Dilator Pupillae Musculus

Posted by Outlander Anatomist | Anatomy Lessons

Anatomy Def: Dilator pupillae (pl.) are muscles inside the irises. They are arranged spoke-like around the pupil opening. As they contract, the pupil opens (dilates).

Outlander def: Dilator pupillae are Claire voice-activated muscles! What? Who? A voice, not heard in 20 years, activates Jamie’s pupil dilators: the iris narrows, the pupil expands! 

Learn about the dilator pupila (sing.) muscle of each iris in Anatomy Lesson #31, An Aye for an Eye.  

Don’t you think it very odd that the Latin for pupil means “little doll?”  Actually, there is a sensible explanation. This word refers to tiny reflections visible in the pupils (really on the corneal surface) and can be traced back to 1398 when, John Trevisa, in his translation of Anglicus’s De Proprietatibus Rerum, wrote:

The blacke of the eye is callyd . . . Pupilla in latyn for smalle ymages ben seen therin.

Were you able to figure out the old English? The sentence reads:

The black of the eye is called pupilla in Latin for small images been seen therein.

This statement is the earliest known English translation for the word origin of “pupil.” 

Read about the effect of dilator pupillae on Jamie’s pupils in Voyager book. Diana explains:

I opened my mouth to reply, but he was still talking, eyes fixed on my face, pupils dilated to pools of darkness. “My love,” he said, almost whispering. “God, ye do look so lovely, wi’ your great eyes all gold, and your hair so soft round your face.”

See the effect of dilator pupillae muscles on Jamie’s pupils in Starz, ep. 306, A. Malcolm. Dark pools, are they!

A deeply grateful,

Outlander Anatomist