This entry is all about turtle puns! There are also a sprinkle of tortoise puns too, so be careful if you’re looking for specifically turtle-based puns (tortoise are completely land-based, turtles mostly live in or around water). As you’ll see, there are a lot of “shell”-based puns to be made, and also a few puns using the names of different turtle species/families.
As with all entries on Punpedia, if you’ve got a great turtle pun, you can post it in the comments and one of our curators will add it to this entry.
Turtle Puns List
Each item in this list of turtle puns is either a simple word-swap (e.g. total → turtle) or it may be a general rule from which multiple puns can be made. In the case of general rules, the asterisks sign (*) represents one or more letters.
- Total→ Turtle: “I am in turtle awe of you.”
- Totally→ Turtley: “Turtley!” and “This is turtley amazing!”
- Totalitarian→ Turtleitarian: “It’s a cruel turtle-itarian regime.”
- Celebration→ Shellebration: As in “After finishing we should have a shellebration.”
- Startle → Sturtle: “Oh! You sturtled me!” and “That was sturtling news.”
- Turtle-neck: A “turtle-neck” is a high, close-fitting neck on a shirt. Can be used as a turtle pun with the right context.
- Sel* → Shell*: If a word starts with “sel” a shell pun can be made by switching it with “shell”. For example: shellection (selection), shellect (select), shelldom (seldom), shellfless (selfless), shellfish (selfish).
- *sel → *shell: Words ending in “sel” can often be punned upon with “shell”: vesshell (vessel), tasshell (tassel), weashell (weasel), musshell (mussel), etc.
- *sel* → *shell*: Words containing “sel” can yeild nice puns on “shell”: Hershellf, himshellf, themshellves, itshellf, myshellf, yourshelf, yourshelves, convershelly, counshelling, preshellected, overshelling, undershelling, ushellessely, weashelling.
- Shall→ Shell: As in “Shell i compare thee to a summer’s day?” and “He who lives by the sword shell die by the sword.”
- *cial → *shell: When a word has “cial” as a suffix, this suffix can usually be swapped out for “shell” to create a shell pun: soshell (social), speshell (special), offishell (official), finanshell, commershell, crushell, judishell, artifishell, provinshell, rashell, benefishell, superfishell, fashell, glashell, sacrifishel, antisoshell.
- Sell → Shell: “How many do we have left to shell?”
- Hell → Shell: “The past last night was a shell of a time.”
- Flip her → Flipper: As in “Don’t you dare flip her off! That’s rude!” and “We’re going to need to flip her on her belly before the surgery.”
- Flip out → Flipper-t: “Woah! No need to flipper-t about my bad turtle puns.”
- Taught us → Tortoise: “Our parents tortoise to be kind to animals.”
- Tore this → Tortoise: “Turtle puns tortoise family apart.”
- Bleak → Beak: Many turtles have beak-like mouths – “The outlook is beak.”
- Riddle → Ridley: Refers to a type of small turtle that lives in tropical seas – “Ridley me this!” and “She speaks in ridleys.”
- A → Loggerhead: Refers to a species of large marine turtle. Also used as an insult for someone who speaks or behaves unintelligently: “That news anchor is a bit of a loggerhead.”
- Snapping: A “snapping turtle” is a type of turtle known for its aggression and powerful jaw. The term “snapping” is also used for quick and irritable speech: “The teacher was intermittently snapping at her.”
- Snap in → Snapping: Refers to a type of turtle. “To snap in quarters.”
- Napping → Snapping: “Did I wake you up? Na, I was jus’ snapping.”
- A → Leatherback: Refers to a very large black turtle with a thick leathery shell.
- Stinkpot: Refers to a species of turtle which can defensively produce a foul smell. Can also refer to a contemptible or foul smelling person or thing: “Jason, you stinkpot! Stop making turtle puns.”
- Plaster on → Plastron: Refers to the underside part of a turtle’s (or tortoise’s, or snake’s) shell: “You may need to put some plastron after I beat you in this pun battle.”
- S’cute → Scute: A “scute” refers to large bony or horny plate as on an armadillo or turtle: “Aww, scute how he walks all wobbly like that.”
- Slow: Although many turtles are quite fast (The pacific leatherback turtle can swim as fast as 34 km/h), the “turtles are slow” stereotype may allow you to use the word “slow” as a turtle pun in the right context.
- Mutant: The series Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles may be well-known enough for the word “mutant” to constitute a turtle pun in the right context.
- Mossback: A “mossback” can refer to a very old turtle that, because of its age, has grown moss on its back. It can also refer to a very conservative person; one with old-fashioned views.
- Hair → Hare: Because of the fame of the Tortoise and the Hare story, one might be able to make a subtle turtle/tortoise pun (with the right context) by switching “hair” for “hare“.
As you can see our turtle puns list is still short! Below is a list of turtle-related words that we still need puns for. If you’d like to help us out, please post suggestions in the comments! Also, this source of turtle-related words may be handy (as might this source).
- ? → Hawksbill: Refers to a small, endangered tropical sea turtle.
- ? → Reptile: All turtles and tortoises are reptiles.
- ? → Carapace: Refers to the hard upper shell of a turtle, crustacean, or arachnid.
- ? → Raphael: A fictional turtle from TMNT.
- ? → Michaelangelo: A fictional turtle from TMNT.
- ? → Donatello: A fictional turtle from TMNT.
- ? → Leonardo: A fictional turtle from TMNT.
- ? → Genbu: Refers to a mythical turtle in Japanese Mythology.
- ? → Kurma: Means “turtle” in Sanskrit and refers to the Hindu Turtle God.
- ? → Great A’Tuin: Refers to the “World Turtle” that helps carry the world in the Discworld series of novels by Terry Pratchet.
- ? → Mock turtle: Refers to a fictional turtle in “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” by Lewis Carroll (wiki).
- ? → Galapagos: Galapagos tortoises are a species of giant tortoise found on the Galapagos islands.
- ? → Anapsid: Refers to “a primitive reptile having no opening in the temporal region of the skull; all extinct except turtles”
- ? → Sea turtle
- ? → Tortoiseshell
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