53 Pet Turtle and Tortoise Names

Turtles and tortoises have fascinated people for millenia

name ideas for pet turtles
Illustration: Catherine Song. © The Spruce 2018 

Pet turtles and tortoises are very popular among adults and children alike. Their cute little bald heads, the home they carry on their backs, and their slow and gentle movements are entertaining and endearing to watch. But choosing a name for these little characters can sometimes be a challenge. Thankfully there are plenty of ideas from other turtle and tortoise owners to use to inspire you. Check out this list of softshell turtle and tortoise names to find the perfect one for your shelled friend. (And if you've already named your turtle, find out if their name is on the list!) 


Top Names and Facts About Pet Turtles

Famous Turtles and Tortoises

  1. Br'er Turtle: One of the characters from the famous Uncle Remus stories
  2. Churchy LaFemme: A very feminine turtle created by Walt Kelly as a character in the Pogo Possum cartoons
  3. Crush: A very cool marine turtle who surfs his way across the Pacific in Finding Nemo
  4. Donatello: One of the four Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
  5. Franklin: A character in the PBS animated children's series of the same name
  6. Fudukazi: This tortoise of South African mythology gave the animals their color.
  7. Gamera: A giant, fire-breathing, flying turtle with jets on his feet who, along with Godzilla and other monsters, destroys Tokyo in TV and movies
  8. Leonardo: One of the four Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
  9. Mack: The rebellious, oppressed turtle in the Dr. Seuss story "Yertle the Turtle"
  10. Michaelangelo: One of the four Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
  11. Mock Turtle: The sea turtle from Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland
  12. Mudface: A character from the book Doctor Dolittle by Hugh Lofting
  13. Raphael: Another Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle
  14. Squirt: Crush's son (from Finding Nemo)
  15. Squirtle: A turtle-shaped Pokemon
  16. Toby the Turtle: A character from Disney's Robin Hood
  17. Tom, Dick, and Harry: The first Galapagos tortoises Charles Darwin collected
  18. Tortura: A Pokemon character
  19. Verne: A character in the animated movie Over the Hedge
  20. Yertle: A dictatorial turtle in the Dr. Seuss story "Yertle the Turtle"

Turtle and Tortoise Names That Play on Appearance and Behavior

Turtles and tortoises are mild, slow animals. Some are vegetarians. All have shells into which they can pull their heads and legs. While land turtles and tortoises have legs (and some snap), aquatic turtles have flippers. Based on all this, here are some favorite turtle and tortoise names that reflect turtle qualities (or their opposite):

  1. Bulldozer
  2. Indy
  3. Nitro
  4. Pokey
  5. Tank
  6. Scooter
  7. Shell-Shocker
  8. Shelly
  9. Snapper
  10. Snappy
  11. Speedy
  12. Stretch
  13. Stumpy
  14. Swimmer
  15. Peek-a-Boo
  16. Sheldon
  17. Shelby
  18. Tonka
  19. Turbo
  20. Zippy
  21. Slow Poke
  22. Turtle Neck
  23. Hard Top

Names That Play on the Words Turtle or Tortoise

Here are just a few ways to play around with the words turtle or tortoise:

  1. Aristurtle
  2. Tororo
  3. Torque
  4. Tortelli
  5. Tortellini
  6. Tortuga

Build Your Own Name

Turtles and tortoises have a rich history. Some are associated with the creation of the world or human beings; others are known to be wise. To find more information about turtles and tortoises (and possibly a perfect name for your pet), look for articles about mythological turtles and tortoises from ancient Egypt, Africa, Mesopotamia, Greece, Rome, China, Viet Nam, and North America. You'll find stories about:

  1. The World Turtle who carried the world on his back.
  2. The Polynesian war god Tu.
  3. Akupara, the tortoise who carries the Earth and Sea on his back.
  4. The mythical Japanese Gen-bu, a combination of a tortoise and a snake.

While these names are a bit obscure for American pet owners, they may be the right match for your pet. Or they may just inspire you to learn more about the mythology and folklore that surrounds these fascinating creatures.

Go With Your Gut

It can take time to pick that perfect name so don't be discouraged if you don't like one right away. Get to know your turtle for a while. Observe him, find out what his favorite food is or whether he is active or shy. You'll think of a name or find one you like this fits its personality.