You've Been Doing It Wrong: How to Pronounce Caitriona Balfe's Name

You've Been Doing It Wrong: How to Pronounce Caitriona Balfe's Name
Image credit: STARZ

It's much easier to pronounce than to spell!


  • Caitríona Balfe is an Irish actress.
  • That is why her name is spelled in Irish Gaelic.
  • New episodes of Outlander will be released in the fall.

The final episodes of Outlander's seventh season will be released this fall, and as each new month approaches, fans of the show are getting more and more excited. And of course, much of that anticipation is due not only to the fascinating world created by Diana Gabaldon and brought to the small screen by the writers, but also to the incredible dynamic between Jamie and Claire. Their love literally transcends time and space, and its charm is only enhanced by the powerful performances of Sam Heughan and Caitríona Balfe.

Adapting a book narrative is not always an easy task, especially when the fandom has known the characters for over 30 years (yes, dear friends, the original Outlander novel came out way back in 1991!). So the fact that audiences instantly fell in love with the TV series iteration of Claire Randall, introduced in 2014, says a lot about Caitríona Balfe's considerable acting chops. But do you know how to pronounce this talented Irish actress' name?

Correct Pronunciation of Caitriona Balfe's Name

Caitríona Balfe, 44, was born in Dublin but grew up in County Monaghan, close to the border with Northern Ireland. Although she now lives in London and Glasgow, she spent her youth in the Irish capital and studied drama at the Dublin Institute of Technology. She speaks English, French and Irish Gaelic. All in all, a true native of The Emerald Isle!

As for the pronunciation of her name, it is much easier than it seems. Caitríona is a Gaelic variation of the English name Katherine, which in turn comes from Greek. Its pronunciation is similar to another English form, Katrina, and sounds like 'kə-TREE-nə'.

Balfe is also a fairly common surname in Ireland. Its etymology comes from the Gaelic 'balbh', which means 'to stammer'. It's pronounced 'bælf'.

And if you're more of an auditory learner, you can listen to Stephen Colbert pronounce it correctly:

What to Expect from Outlander Season 7B?

Now that we know how to pronounce Caitríona Balfe's name, we can talk about what to expect from Outlander in the near future! The second part of Season 7 will likely cover all of the remaining events of An Echo in the Bone, and may even introduce the events of the next novel, Written in My Own Heart's Blood.

Apparently, Episode 9 will focus on the events in Scotland and provide some insight into Jamie and Claire at Lallybroch. However, the two might be parted again, as Claire will likely be returning to the New World in Episode 10, the title of which refers to both Lord John and his brother, as well as Philadelphia itself, The City of Brotherly Love.

As for Jamie and the other characters, we'll find out when Season 7B premieres on November 22, 2024. In the meantime, the final Season 8 will be released sometime in 2025.