Tortoise Pet Names

(Originally written for and posted at the Tortoise Forum.Org.)

Sometimes we need a little help finding the RIGHT name for a baby or pet. There are even books of baby, cat and dog names- but that does not always help when it comes to more unusual animals.

So, here is a list of possible names from several sources to get you started- enjoy!

Names from culture and fiction

  • Kurma or Kurmaraja, the second incarnation of Vishnu, the Hindu god (thanks to Art de Lamerens)
  • AoKurma or Kurmaraja, Akupara, Chukwa are all names of various cultures ‘world turtles‘, the turtles that hold the world on its or their backs. (thanks to Art de Lamerens)
  • Maturin (Stephen King, Dark Tower series and It)

(thanks to Art de Lamerens)

  • Leonardo, Raphael, Donatello, and Leonardo (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles)
  • Oogway (Kung-Fu Panda)
  • A’Tuin, the ‘world turtle’ that holds Discworld on its back (Discworld series, Terry Pratchett)
  • Om (Tortoise hero of the Discworld book ‘Small Gods‘, Terry Pratchett)
  • Moby and Dick (Rocky)
  • Aford (webcomic of the same name)
  • Cecil (the turtle who always raced Bugs Bunny)
  • Touche’ Turtle (70′s cartoon series)
  • Tooter Turtle (another old cartoon series)
  • Yertle and Mack (Dr. Seuss)
  • Churchy LaFemme (Pogo comic strip)
  • Verne (Over The Hedge comic strip)
  • Franklin (from his own children’s books)
  • Koopa and Bowser (Mario Brothers games)
  • Crush and Squirt (Finding Nemo)
  • Gamara or Gamera (Godzilla)
  • Squirtle and Blastoise (Pokemon)
  • Tortura (Pokemon, the World Turtle in that universe) (thanks to Art de Lamerens)
  • Mr. Turtle (from old Tootsie Pop commercials (oldsters here just chuckled))
  • Flo and Eddie (from the band The Turtles)
  • Mr. Sydney Turtle (My Name is Earl)
  • Morla, the Aged One, aka The Tortoise Shell Mountain (The Neverending Story)
  • Esio Trot, the title character of the same-named book by Roald Dahl (‘tortoise’ backwards if you missed it.)
  • Skipperdee (Eloise, by Kay Thompson)


Names from real and historic tortoises

  • Achilles, the tortoise kept by Gerald Durrell, in the book My Family and Other Animals
  • Lonesome George, the Galapagos tortoise, last of his kind, that sadly passed away 6/24/2012
  • Tom, Dick, and Harry, the first Galapagos tortoises Charles Darwin collected
  • Tu’i Malila, Adwaitya, Jonathon, or Harriet – very old tortoises from around the world
  • Timothy (“Timothy, or Notes of an Abject Reptile” by Verlyn Klinkenborg)

Typical, funny and ironic names

  • Tank, Dozer, Bulldozer, Tonka, Truck, Mack
  • Shelly, Sheldon, Shelby… (ie Dr. Sheldon Cooper, or his ‘gamer name’- Sheldor, from Big Bang Theory, Mary Shelly the author of Frankenstein, etc.)
  • Zippy, Turbo, Speedy, Indy, Nitro, Scooter, Speedo
  • Spot, Rover, Fido… and other common dog and cat names
  • Tortellini, the type of pasta

Sources for more names

  • Movies or books, like…
    1. Lord of the Rings (Frodo, Elrond, Shadowfax…),
    2. Star Wars (Solo, Leia, Darth…),
    3. Land Before Time (Littlefoot, Cera…),
    4. Any Disney or Pixar movie (Wall-E, Buzz, Woody…),
    5. Watership Down (Blackberry, Fiver, Hazel, Bigwig…),
    6. Sesame Street (Scooter, Bert, Oscar, Elmo…)
    7. Gremlins, Star Trek, Bugs Bunny…
  • Based on their common or scientific names…
    1. ‘Cherry-headed’ red-footeds might be named for cherry varieties- Chelan, Atticus, Balthon, or Black Tartarian.
    2. Homes hingeback might go with ‘Sherlock‘ (Holmes) or ‘Watson‘, maybe even ‘House MD‘;
    3. A Hermanns might go with ‘Fred Gwynne‘ (who played Herman Munster)
    4. Keanu Reeves for a Reeves turtle
    5. Woodrow Wilson or Woody for a wood turtle.
    6. Stretch or Mr. Fantastic (Stretchy guy from Fantastic Four comics) for an elongated tortoise.
  • Other ideas…
    1. Based on geographic location or place names, i.e. Red-footed from Venezuela area might go with something like Coro, Orinoco, Tovar, or Maturin.
    2. Gods or beings from many traditions (Thor, Coyote, Behemoth, Zuni…)
    3. Someone famous from the region, or in science, or reptile studies, like Linnaeus, Darwin, Steve Irwin…
    4. Shell patterns or colors – Spot, Stripe, Pinky. You can often see vague shapes or letters in the shell as well that can inspire a name. One of my red-footed tortoises had a clear ‘M’ on his last central scute, so we called him Milo, a Lord of the Rings minor character.