Fun Fact: platysma

Posted by Outlander Anatomy | Fun Facts

Dougal Mackenzie making a fierce face and on the battlefield used in a fun fact on Outlander Anatomy about platysma.

Anatomy def: Platysma is a thin, flat superficial sheet of muscle fibers extending from each clavicle (collar bone), up the neck, and ending near the angles of the mandible (lower jaw).

Outlander def: Aka, the grimacing muscles, platysmata (pl.) participate in a grimace: facial contortion due to strain, terror, disgust, pain, or wry amusement wherein strands of platysma web the neck skin! Weightlifters sometimes injury the platysmata as grimace with extraordinary effort.

See Dougal exhibit splendid radiating webs of platysma as he and his band of hairy lads demonstrate a heiland charge! Oh, a bit of Angus’ platysma, also gets into the act! Diana offers a picturesque description of Dougal’s charge (Dragonfly in Amber book):

Scottish clansmen fought according to their ancient traditions. Disdaining strategy, tactics, and subtlety, their method of attack was simplicity itself. Spotting the enemy within range, they dropped their plaids, drew their swords, and charged the foe, shrieking at the tops of their lungs. Gaelic shrieking being what it is, this method was more often successful than not. A good many enemies, seeing a mass of hairy, bare-limbed banshees bearing down on them, simply lost all nerve and fled.

Head for the hills! The Heiland Hills, that is! <G>

Learn about the platysma in Anatomy Lesson #11, Jamie’s Face or Ye do it Face to Face? and Anatomy Lesson #12, Claire’s Neck or The Ivory Tower.

Read about grimaces in Dragonfly in Amber book. The platysmata help create Jamie’s grimace:

“Haven’t you got any nerves?” I demanded of him. He grimaced at me in the mirror and put his hands over his stomach. “Aye, I have. But it takes me in the belly, not the hands. Have ye some of that stuff for cramp?”

And for Claire. Yep, she is contracting her platysmata too!

Obviously, I was going to need Jamie’s help. I grimaced at the thought of what he was likely to say about it.

Claire Fraser making a face used in a fun fact on Outlander Anatomy about platysma.

See Dougal’s platysmata fully activated in Starz episode 209, Je Suis Prest, and Claire’s as she fights the effects of Colum’s fortified rhenish in Starz episode 103, The Way Out. Hic!

A deeply grateful,

Outlander Anatomist

Fun Fact: cephalic vein

Posted by Outlander Anatomy | Fun Facts


Anatomy Def: The cephalic vein is a superficial vein of the arm (red arrow) that drains hand, forearm and arm. It carries blood towards the head (hence the name) until it reaches the shoulder joint region where it dives to join the subclavian vein deep to the clavicle. From there, blood continues to the heart.

Outlander def: A delicious ridge of Jamie fresh-flesh! It is a stark standout as he mutters sweet-sweets to unborn Faith!

Learn about the cephalic vein in Anatomy Lesson #17, “The Wedding or Hallelujah Chorus!” Oh, yeah, Jamie’s cephalic vein is just fine and dandy on his wedding night. Look for it as Claire finally gets with the plan and circles his Nakedness. <G>

Read about the cephalic vein in Outlander book! Well, Diana actually describes the cephalic vein –  it’s the one he traces “up the inner side of my upper arm.” Shiver! But she does name the subclavian vein which receives blood from the cephalic. Hope I haven’t lost ye! 😉

“Your skin is so fine I can see the blood moving beneath it,” Jamie said, tracing the path of a sunbeam across my bare stomach. “I could follow the veins from your hand to your heart.” He drew his finger gently up my wrist to the bend of the elbow, up the inner side of my upper arm, and across the slope below my collarbone. “That’s the subclavian vein,” I remarked, looking down my nose at the path of his tracking finger. “Is it? Oh, aye, because it’s below your clavicle.

See Jamie’s cephalic vein in Starz episode 206, Best laid Schemes!

A deeply grateful,

Outlander Anatomist

Fun Fact: expectorate

Posted by Outlander Anatomy | Fun Facts

A man, Angus Mhor, spitting.

Anatomy Def: Expectorate means to eject from the throat or lungs by coughing or hawking or spitting.

Outlander Def: Feisty Angus demonstrating “Great Expectorations” to his buds just before the Battle of Prestonpans!

Learn about expectoration or spitting in Anatomy Lesson #44,  “Terrific Tunnel – GI System, Part I.” In medicine, the term means to hawk up phlegm but general use also covers spitting.

Read about expectorating, hawking, and spitting in Dragonfly in Amber book:

Cold and miserable as the weather was outside, I found myself spending a good deal of time walking the grounds of Holyrood and the Canongate. A faceful of rain seemed preferable to lungfuls of woodsmoke and germ-filled air indoors. The sounds of coughing and sneezing rang through the Palace, though the constraint of His Highness’s genteel presence caused most hawking sufferers to spit into filthy handkerchiefs or the Delft-lined fireplaces, rather than on the polished Scotch oak floors.

See Angus expectorate in Starz episode 210, Prestonpans! The split-spitting is likely due to his missing two upper incisors! <G>

A deeply grateful,

Outlander Anatomist