The 20 Best Turtle Names for Your Slow and Steady Friend With a Shell

If you just got a pet turtle, you most likely want to think of a catchy name for him. You could name him Shelly, of course… but wouldn’t you like to go for something more creative and unforgettable? In this article, we have come up with twenty interesting suggestions for turtle names. Feel free to use them to name your new pet!

Turtle Name FAQ

1. Should I Give My Turtle a Boy Name or a Girl Name?

If you want to figure out whether your turtle is a boy or a girl, first look at their tail. Male turtles have longer tails than females. You can also look for their rectal opening, or “vent,” which is on the underside of their tail. On females, it is closer to the shell. On males, it is further along down the tail. However, many of the turtle names on our suggestion list are gender neutral, so you could use them for a male turtle or a female turtle.

2. Will My Turtle Recognize His or Her Name?

Scientists have not studied whether turtles can recognize their names, but many turtle owners say that they can. Say your turtle’s name frequently while you play and interact with him. Eventually, he may start to turn to look at you when you say his name. They hear better underwater than above water. Turtle owners also say that turtles can recognize the sight of their owners, and their owners’ voices.

3. Can I Change My Turtle’s Name?

Turtles probably don’t mind if you change their names, but if you’ve taught them to recognize their name, you’ll have to start over with the new name.

Turtle Names We Reviewed

  • Fudukazi
  • Tòti
  • Crush
  • Awanata
  • Alfie
  • Akupara
  • Mack
  • Cootah
  • Mudface
  • Jabuti
  • Squirtle
  • Kobe
  • Morla
  • Honu
  • Oogway
  • Ijapa
  • Toby
  • Kameko
  • Gamera
  • Spotty


Background or Meaning

There is an old African story about a tortoise who was calledFudukazi. According to the story, the name meant a lot of positive things, like respectable tortoise, mother tortoise, or wise old tortoise. She gave all of the animals their colors and patterns. This is a great name for a turtle who is calm and wise. 


Background or Meaning

Some people like turtle names that come from other languages. If you like to travel or learn foreign languages, you might be interested in knowing that
“Tòti” is a Creole word for “turtle.”


Background or Meaning

If you’re looking for turtle names that come from pop culture, or if you’re a Pixar fan, this name is a great suggestion! Crush is the name of the surfer dude sea turtle who teaches Marlin and Dory to ride the waves, in the movie Finding Nemo.


Background or Meaning

Here is another name that means “turtle” in another language. The Native American Miwok tribe uses the word “awanata” to mean “turtle.” According to some sources, it more specifically means “original turtle,” as in the first turtle on Earth.


Background or Meaning

If you’re looking for turtle names that come from literature, or if you are a fan of children’s books, consider this name. It comes from Roald Dahl’s book Esio Trot. Alfie is a pet tortoise that belongs to a woman named Mrs. Silver, who wishes he would grow bigger. Her neighbor, Mr. Hoppy, hatches a complicated plan to win Mrs. Silver’s heart. He tells her to whisper some “magic words” into Alfie’s ear every day. Then he buys many tortoises of all different sizes. Each day he secretly replaces Mrs. Silver’s tortoise with a slightly bigger one.


Background or Meaning

Some great turtle names can be borrowed from mythology. In a Hindu myth, Akupara is a turtle who carries the whole world on her back.


Background or Meaning

Here is another one of those turtle names from children’s literature. In Dr. Seuss’s book Yertle the Turtle, Mack is the hero. The king turtle, King Yertle, makes all of the turtles stand on each other’s backs, so he can stand on the top of the pile and get a good view. Mack attempts to convince Yertle that this is not a great idea. When Yertle doesn’t listen, Mack burps, toppling the turtle stack. He becomes the new king of turtles in return for saving the others from having to stand in a stack.


Background or Meaning

This name comes from a Gullah children’s story with a lesson. Cootah is the world’s first turtle, and he is always bragging about how smooth and shiny his shell is. He treats other animals with contempt because he thinks he is better than them. He becomes jealous of some geese because they can fly, and he wants to be able to fly as well. To make a long story short, he does get to fly, but he ends up falling in some mud. When the mud dries, it cracks, causing grooves in his shell. And that is why turtles today are “humble” and have shells with patterns on them. 


Background or Meaning

Another one of our turtle names that come from children’s literature is Mudface. This was the name of a giant turtle in the story, Dr. Doolittle.


Background or Meaning

Most Americans are familiar with the story of the Tortoise and the Hare. In Brazil, there is a similar story. Jabuti is a name for a species of small tortoises. In the story, a Jabuti is challenged to a race by a deer. In our story, the hare takes a nap and the slow and steady tortoise is able to pass him. In this story, however, the Jabuti conspires with other tortoises to trick the deer. They space themselves out evenly in the woods, to make the deer think that the original Jabuti is always ahead of him.


Background or Meaning

Pokemon fans are sure to love this name! Squirtle is a Pokemon who resembles a turtle. It is known for squirting water out of its mouth. There are a group of stray Squirtles who use their water-squirting talent to fight fires. It can evolve to become a Wartortle. 


Background or Meaning

Baby names can also be turtle names! In Swahili, Kobe is a baby name that means “turtle.” It is simple and sweet.


Background or Meaning

Anyone who watched The Neverending Story as a child probably remembers Morla, the giant, ancient tortoise who speaks very slowly and claims not to care about anything. She does not even care if she cares about things. If your turtle seems to have a grumpy look on her face, Morla may be a great name for her.


Background or Meaning

In Hawaiian culture, “Honu” is the word for “sea turtle.” It is a symbol of good luck and the embodiment of a guardian spirit. A related name would be Kailua, which is the name of a legendary giant honu who protects children that play on the beach.


Background or Meaning

Turtle names from pop culture are always fun. This one comes from the movie Kung Fu Panda. Master Oogway is an elderly tortoise who is known as the greatest kung fu master in history.


Background or Meaning

Here is another story that explains why turtle shells have jagged patterns. This story comes from Nigeria. Ijapa is a sneaky turtle who tries to trick a rabbit family into allowing him up into their tree home, where he plans to take their food. He is in the middle of climbing the rope to their house, but when the mother rabbit realizes that she’s been tricked, she cuts the rope. Ijapa falls on his shell. He is not hurt, but his shell, which was previously smooth, has lots of cracks in it. This is a good name for a turtle who is not very nice.


Background or Meaning

It seems like many of our turtle names come from Disney movies! Toby is the name of the nervous little turtle in the animated version of Robin Hood. When he gets scared, he tucks his head into his shell, and his voice sounds echoey from inside it. If your turtle is shy or nervous, this would be a great name for him.


Background or Meaning

For those who like turtle names that are also baby names, try Kameko! In Japanese, it is a baby name that means “tortoise child.”


Background or Meaning

This is the name of a turtle-like monster from a 1965 movie of the same name. Gamera starts out being seen as a scary and evil monster. However, he becomes a hero when he starts defending Japanese people from other monsters, especially focusing on rescuing children. In the movie, he telepathically tells someone that he fights for all life on earth, including humans.


Background or Meaning

The last entry on our list of turtle names is another one from a children’s story. Spotty the Turtle was a character in the 1910 children’s book Old Mother West Wind, by Thornton Waldo Burgess. Spotty stars alongside other animal characters, including the original Peter Rabbit.

The Verdict

It is impossible to come up with the best one on our list of turtle names since all turtles are different. The turtle name you choose should be a name that is special and meaningful to you, just like your turtle. We are sure your new pet will be happy with whatever you choose!


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