Ready? Clan Fraser Je Suis Prest Gifts for Outlander Fans

by JoHarrington

In all matters involving Jamie Fraser, 'Outlander' fans will usually cry, 'I Am Ready!' Only that's phrased 'Je Suis Prest' - the motto of Clan Fraser of Lovat.

Technically it's not just fans of 'Outlander' who will love these gifts with 'Je Suis Prest' on them.

There is a real world Fraser of Lovat clan out there. It's a family spread out over the globe, who have a long history with their own motto yelled from the top of their lungs. They're probably all looking on in glee, or else hunting through the genealogy in confusion looking for Jamie Fraser.

But let's face it, it's more likely that these wonderful 'Je Suis Prest' Fraser clan motto products will be grabbed as gifts for fans of 'Outlander'. We're ALL Clan Fraser now!

So are you ready to buy 'Je Suis Prest' goodies? And uncover Clan Fraser of Lovat history, legends and trivia along the way.

Je Suis Prest Gift Ideas for Outlander Fans

Looking for 'Outlander' gift ideas? You're in the right place! A few notes here for those who want to treat an 'Outlander' fan, but who know nothing about it themselves.

Fans of the show - and Diana Gabaldon's books upon which the Starz adaptation is based - will know what's going on here already. I've added snippets of information and Fraser related tales to make the browsing through this collection even more interesting.

Those of you here hunting for a present for an Outlander fan may skip all of that if you please. It tells you nothing (except the context) for the treats on offer. All you need to know is this:

  • Je Suis Prest is a motto known and loved by all in the Outlander fandom. There's nothing obscure about it, as the Fraser clan slogan relates to a main character. Its importance is highlighted in a major scene too.
  • The products shown are the most popular in their categories on Zazzle. I haven't hand-picked any of them. I've merely typed in 'Je Suis Prest' and allowed the search to find the best-selling item(s).

That latter may be why these Je Suis Prest gifts might change between visits, or might appear to display identical designs over and over again. Take that as an indication that a certain design continues to be well received by fans buying these Outlander goodies, often as treats for themselves.

Clan Fraser Je Suis Prest Gift Boxes for Outlander Fans

'Outlander' trinket boxes are a great present in themselves, or a way of making the container ALSO part of the treat.

Who Are Clan Fraser of Lovat?

In the books and television show 'Outlander', this is the clan of which Jamie Fraser is its most prominent (fictional) member. Though Fraser is a real life clan too!

Image: Clan Fraser lands in Scotland 1587It's thought that the Frasers came to Britain with the Normans. The 11th Lord Lovat, Simon Fraser, certainly tried to form an alliance with Marquis de la Frézelière in France on the strength of it.

But since the 13th century at least, Clan Fraser of Lovat has been firmly entrenched upon their lands, in the Inverness region of the Scottish Highlands.

Their lands (late 16th century) are highlighted in blue on the map to the left, as published in 1897.

Clan Fraser of Lovat's territory begins south-west of Loch Ness, continuing up its eastern banks in a wide reach up the length of the Great Glen. Then dog-legs around Inverness and off to the west. In a broad range through the mountainous Glen Strathfarrar, Fraser lands follow the River Farrar out past Loch Monar.

The lands of Clan Fraser of Lovat border those belonging to Clan Mackintosh, Clan Ranald-MacDonald, Clan Ranald of Lochaber, Clan Cameron, Clan MacPherson, Clan Chisholm and Clan Grant. As every Outlander fan knows, by far the Fraser's biggest neighbor (adjoining all their top-most lands on two sides) are Clan MacKenzie.

In 1253, Lovat's realm in The Aird was awarded to him by Alexander III, though an ancestor - Simon Fraser - had occupied land in East Lothian as early as 1160.

Speak Outlander: How to Pronounce Je Suis Prest

Je Suis Prest T-Shirts for Outlander Fans

Buy an 'Outlander' t-shirt to declare your allegiance to Clan Fraser (or the Jamie parts of it, at least). It's the modern equivalent of wearing your heart on your sleeve.
Looking for a gift for a fan of Outlander? Wanting to show your allegiance to the clan of Jamie and Claire addicts? Dinna fash, I am ready!

Who is the Laird of Clan Fraser of Lovat?

Today the laird of Clan Fraser is Simon Fraser, 16th Lord Lovat and 26th Chief of the Fraser Clan.

Though there is some confusion here, as the Court of Lyon 1984 awarded Marjorie Flora Fraser - 21st Lady Saltoun (and therefore a member of the British royal family) - the title 'Chief of the name and arms of the whole Clan Fraser'. Simon Fraser apparently ignored that as 'beneath him'.

The difficulty stems from the fact that there is another Clan Fraser based in Lowland Scotland. Lady Saltoun is most definitely its chief. While the Frasers and Frasers of Lovat are related back in the distant past, they are two distinct clans now. Give or take that ruling from the Court of Lyon.

Back in Jamie's day, the Lovat Fraser Chief was another Simon Fraser, the aforementioned 11th Lord Lovat, whose nick-name was 'The Fox', or 'The Old Fox of the '45'. The latter relating to the Jacobite Rising, which reached its zenith in the disastrous Battle of Culloden.

As a (fictional) grandson of the Fox, Jamie Fraser himself was the Laird of Broch Tuarach. This was an area within Fraser lands, around the family home at Lallybroch. Though fans may struggle to locate that on a real world map.

Je Suis Prest Greeting Cards for Fans of Outlander

While you're grabbing a gift for an 'Outlander' fan, don't forget to get a Clan Fraser greeting card too! There may even be a design to match the present.

Strange French - Je Suis Prest, the Motto of Clan Fraser of Lovat

All Outlander fans and clan members know that the Lovat Fraser motto is Je Suis Prest. We can also translate it fully for you - I Am Ready - and tell you that it's French.

Which must cause great bewilderment in France.

Je suis prêt is how the French would tell you that they're ready.  Or they might say je suis près, which is more like 'I Am Nearly Ready'. That might spark a few wry comments regarding The Old Fox of the '45, and his political wrangling during the Jacobite Rebellion, but not from Fraser of Lovat clan members.

All of which makes it rather curious that Je Suis Prest is the clan's motto!  Perhaps the spelling was different in Old French, or maybe the saying became associated with the clan before its modern spelling was fixed.

Or there could have been a typo along the way, which everyone now utterly ignores on the basis that this IS the motto as maintained by the Fraser of Lovat laird through the ages. And their word is law, even if the French want to quibble about it.

Je Suis Prest Mugs for Clan Fraser of Lovat

To my mind, there are few moments more perfect in life than sipping a nice cup of tea, while lost in a world of 'Outlander'. I am most definitely ready.

More Coffee Mugs for Outlander Fans

Show your allegiance to Clan Fraser - and particularly Jamie and Claire - with the ultimate in coffee time Outlander accessories!
It's Spring 2014, with the television adaptation of Diana Gabaldon's books there on the horizon. Check out the latest Outlander mugs created by fans while they wait!

Couldn't the Laird of Clan Fraser of Lovat Change the Motto?

One way around this would be for Lord Lovat (or Lady Saltoun, if she wants to start a war) to quietly correct the spelling and hope that nobody notices.

But this isn't something that would ever happen.

In Scottish heraldry, the motto is a part of the coat of arms. It's distinctive in that it's always shown above the crest, not as an optional extra below, as in their counterparts in other countries. For Simon Fraser - or any future Clan Fraser Laird - to alter it in any way, then the whole arms would have to be re-matriculated.

That would not only wipe out all that history at a swipe, but there's a risk that the Court of Lyon might take it off Clan Fraser of Lovat entirely. In 2008, the City of Inverness tried to matriculate its own armorial coat of arms, but Lord Lyon King of Arms refused. The reasoning was that there is no legal persona for whom the arms might be awarded. Inverness is part of Clan Fraser of Lovat lands.

Best to stay with Je Suis Prest then.

Outlander Fan Gifts: Je Suis Prest Coasters

Coffee break with Jamie Fraser! These 'Outlander' coasters are perfect for resting your brew, while curled up around a Diana Gabaldon novel.

Why a French Motto for a Scottish Highland Clan?

At one time, it was quite the fashion for clans to take on a French motto. While ordinary Scottish people spoke Gaelic, the court of Robert the Bruce was largely of Norman descent, therefore the language of officialdom was Anglo-Norman French.

For many Scottish clans, this was the period when lands and heraldic arms were awarded, and mottos became fixed. Hence so many being in French.

The Frasers of Lovat also claim ancestry from someone who traveled to Scotland from Medieval France. It's already been mentioned that the clan's founder might have come to Britain as part of the Norman Conquest. For those Scots whose Gaelic sensibilities balk at such notions, there is an alternative clan origin story.

That is that the ultimate grand sire of Clan Fraser is Pierre Fraser, Seigneur de Troile (Troyes in France), who was already on the Isle of Man by the 8th century. His son, also named Pierre, became thane there in 814 CE. From Man, the family emigrated to Scotland, where the rest is history. But most definitely history that predates William the Conqueror.

Clan Fraser of Lovat Je Suis Prest Bags

While out shopping or at school, carry your Clan Fraser bag so people know you're 'tote' an 'Outlander' fan. Ok, I'll stop now.

The French Fraser Ancestor with the Bowl of Strawberries

Image: Jamie Fraser Je Suis PrestThere's a myth relating to the beginning of Clan Fraser of Lovat, which provides yet another route for their French ancestry.

It maintains that Julius de Berry - a member of the Bourbon nobility - once entertained Charles the Simple at his home. He produced a bowl of strawberries for the enjoyment of his monarch. The fruit then being quite a novel treat.

King Charles thought them so delicious that he knighted Julius on the spot.

In honor of the occasion, de Berry extended his name to 'strawberries' (which is fraise in French) or otherwise became known as the strawberry plants (fraisier). Thus becoming Julius Fraiseux or Frezeliere. A direct descendent then took the name to Scotland, where the centuries turned it into Frazer.

But this largely is viewed as a made up story to explain the fact that there are three strawberry flowers on the Frazer arms. The reality is that they're there as a hilarious pun - Frazer/fraisiers, get it?! Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha!

That would have been the height of comedy in the Middle Ages. What's happened to your sense of humor?  Don't worry if you're not rolling in the aisles at this one. The fact that no-one particularly shares the joke anymore is the whole reason that a story was concocted to give meaning to the flowers on the arms.

Though for those who want to take this tale at face value, the Bourbonnais Julius could be another reason why Clan Fraser of Lovat's motto is in French.

Je Suis Prest Laptop Sleeve

Gifts for 'Outlander' geeks everywhere.

Je Suis Prest Speakers

This is one way to broadcast your 'Outlander' affiliation!

Je Suis Prest iPhone Cases and Skins

In the past, people wore tokens of their clan chief's arms. These days we buy Fraser skins to plaster over our smartphones and laptops instead.

Je Suis Prest Gifts are Good Presents for Outlander Fans

Wondering why Je Suis Prest items make great Outlander fan gifts? Mostly it's because we're all forming solidarity with Jamie Fraser from Outlander.  As a Fraser of Lovat clan member, Je Suis Prest is his motto.

But there is also a very memorable scene in both the book and the Starz television adaptation, where Jamie demonstrates what is meant by 'I Am Ready'.

It comes when Jamie Fraser is asked to swear an oath to the Laird of Clan MacKenzie. To do so will mean death; not to do so will mean death. In true Fraser spirit, Jamie finds a middle way, which was met with rapturous cheering from fans of Outlander everywhere. The Je Suis Prest moment is much loved and cherished by us all.

Outlander Clip: Jamie Fraser Says Je Suis Prest

Outlander Buttons: Je Suis Prest Badges

Fun fact: There are no Scottish CLAN mottos, crests nor colors. All of those were awarded to the CHIEF of each clan. Everyone else wears them to honor him/her.

Why is Je Suis Prest the Motto of Clan Fraser of Lovat?

Je Suis Prest could have been written for Jamie's clash with Colum MacKenzie, but it wasn't. Diana Gabaldon wrote that dialogue because it worked so well in context, but she was inspired by the fact it really was the Fraser of Lovat clan motto.

So where did it come from in reality?

You'd think that there would be a wonderful story describing how the clan came by such a motto. But if there is, then I've never heard it, nor can I find it anywhere.

My best guess is that it dates from the Scottish Wars of Independence, when Sir Simon Fraser the Patriot always brought his clansmen to fight for the aforesaid independence of Scotland. The Frasers of Lovat were there with Red Comyn, William Wallace and Robert the Bruce. That sounds pretty ready to me.

In 1306, Sir Simon Fraser saved Robert the Bruce's life three times at the Battle of Methven. This could specifically be readiness thus acknowledged in Fraser's clan motto. The laird was also ready to die for freedom. He was eventually captured by the English.  Edward I condemned him to perhaps one of the cruelest methods of capital punishment. Sir Simon Fraser was hanged, drawn and quartered.

Or Je Suis Prest could relate to the aftermath of the Battle of Bannockburn, when Simon's cousin Sir Alexander Fraser of Touch-Fraser and Cowie was one of the signatories of the Declaration of Arbroath.  He was also ready to become Chamberlain of Scotland, and marry King Robert Bruce's daughter Mary.

Their children included Alexander - who became the head of the Frasers of Philorth - and Simon - who founded the branch of the Fraser clan now known as Fraser of Lovat.

Clan Fraser Je Suis Prest Christmas Ornaments for Outlander Fans

At the time of writing, all of the 'Outlander' Christmas decorations here include the Tartan of Fraser of Lovat. It's green and red. What could be more festive?
Would you like to decorate your home with Jamie Fraser? Aye, you would. Dinna fash, Jamie and Claire Christmas ornaments can be found right here.

Je Suis Prest as an Ancient Clan Fraser of Lovat War Cry

Of course, there is a much more prosaic explanation as to why Je Suis Prest is the motto of the Fraser of Lovat clan. It was once a war cry!

There are two official war cries already linked with the clan. They are 'A Mhòr-fhaiche' and 'Caisteal Dhuni'.  The first translates as 'the Great Field', while the second is Castle Dounie or Downie. This was the ancestral home of Clan Fraser of Lovat, in Beauly, Inverness, until it was burned to the ground by the Duke of Cumberland's forces in the wake of Culloden. (Just add insult to injury, the Royal Commission building was erected on the site.)

These are war cries designed to inspire passion in the soul and inflame the minds of men about to hurtle down a hillside into the fray. But in those earlier days of open combat on a Norman battlefield, the yelled response of soldiers may have been a little less poetic.

It's thought that most Scottish clan mottos derived from things traditionally shouted during muster. When you think about it, it's very easy to imagine Sir Simon Fraser the Patriot calling out, "Frasers, good to go?"

And one by one, his fighters checking their weapons and falling in line, loudly declaring, "I am ready!"

Or Robert the Bruce, in his courtly French, asking the same question of Sir Simon or his cousin Alexander, and the clan chief answering in kind, "Je suis prêt!"

Clan Fraser Je Suis Prest Necklaces for Outlander Fans

Wear an 'Outlander' pendant to show your Clan Fraser allegiance, and to alert others in the fandom that you're one of them.

Je Suis Prest as the War Cry of Outlander Fans

On the eve of the first episode of Outlander being aired on Starz, Outlander fans had their own clan gathering. Mustering on various social networking forums, individual members of the fandom announced their presence with a hearty, 'Je Suis Prest!'

The majority chose to merely say (well type) it, but the creativity of many flooded out in a plethora of images, gifs or other artwork. Others filmed themselves yelling the slogan as a war cry, or whispering it like a prayer.

We had waited decades for this. Now we'd lived to see a dramatization finally happen, and with that motto repeated over the world, we all became part of it too. It was a beautiful thing to witness occurring.

And naturally, je suis prest.

Je Suis Prest Bumper Sticker for Outlander Fans

Find your clan on the open road! Display a 'Je Suis Prest' bumper sticker and see who reacts with a beep, wave and smile.

More Wizzley Articles about Outlander

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Want to know where Starz's Outlander was filmed in Scotland? Looking to walk in the footsteps of Jamie and Claire? Well you've come to the right place!
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Updated: 10/27/2014, JoHarrington
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JoHarrington on 10/16/2014

Oh! Trust me, any Outlander fan will be recognized at 100 paces with anything Je Suis Prest about them. It's almost our secret code to each other. Which must be either confusing, amusing or annoying to the actual Clan Fraser of Lovat!

Ember on 10/16/2014

I am picturing fans going to visit Scotland with any number of these items, but especially like the tote bag or pins and necklaces, and either being recognized for it or just plain confusing folks. XD

These are nice though. My sister has a button or two for all of the things she's liking at the moment or any random thing that is important to her, so I could see why those are apparently quite popular.

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