Thanks for the comments. Since vectors are neither rows nor columns in Sage, any notion of a transpose is irrelevant. The outer product just is what it is. I could delete the mention of the transpose in the mathematical description in the docstring.
"Someone" are 19-year-old students, who shouldn't need to understand a lambda function to learn linear algebra.
Sage can work well with a column-oriented approach - it just needs a few things. Check out:
I didn't know that is sometimes used as a definition of "outer product", but Wikipedia backs you up on it.
In other languages, "exterior product" translates to the same word as "outer product", so a -1 from me for having this definition of outer product. I think this term will be a source of confusion.
If someone needs the tensor product, it is easy enough to get via the one-liner
lambda v,w: matrix(len(v),len(w),[a*b for a in v for b in w])
(given Sage's preference for row vectors versus the preference of most LA texts for column vectors, I expect that relating inner/outer products to a question of where to put the transpose is only going to cause *more* confusion in students, by the way)