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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)
  • Ao,  Kurma 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... 
  • Lord of the Rings (Frodo, Elrond, Shadowfax...), 
  • Star Wars (Solo, Leia, Darth...), 
  • Land Before Time (Littlefoot, Cera...), 
  • Any Disney or Pixar movie (Wall-E, Buzz, Woody...), 
  • Watership Down (Blackberry, Fiver, Hazel, Bigwig...), 
  • Sesame Street (Scooter, Bert, Oscar, Elmo...)
  • Gremlins, Star Trek, Bugs Bunny...

Based on their common or scientific names...

  • 'Cherry-headed' red-footeds might be named for cherry varieties- Chelan, Atticus, Balthon, or Black Tartarian
  • Homes hingeback might go with 'Sherlock' (Holmes) or 'Watson', maybe even 'House MD'; 
  • A Hermanns might go with 'Fred Gwynne' (who played Herman Munster)
  • Keanu Reeves for a Reeves turtle
  • Woodrow Wilson or Woody for a wood turtle.
  • Stretch or Mr. Fantastic (Stretchy guy from Fantastic Four comics) for an elongated tortoise.
Other ideas...
  • Based on geographic location or place names, i.e. Red-footed from Venezuela area might go with something like Coro, Orinoco, Tovar, or Maturin.
  • Gods or beings from many traditions (Thor, Coyote, Behemoth, Zuni...)
  • Someone famous from the region, or in science, or reptile studies, like Linnaeus, Darwin, Steve Irwin...
  • 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.

2-5-2012 (C) Mark Adkins