Origin of tortoiseMiddle English tortuce ; from Medieval Latin tortuca, altered (prob. by associated, association with Classical Latin tortus, twisted) ; from Vulgar Latin an unverified form tartaruca ; from uncertain or unknown; perhaps Late Greek tartarouchos, evil demon, origin, originally , controlling Tartarus
- Any of various terrestrial turtles, especially one of the family Testudinidae, characteristically having thick clublike hind limbs and a high, rounded carapace.
- One that moves slowly; a laggard.
Origin of tortoiseMiddle English tortuce, turtle, tortoise, probably partly from Anglo-Norman tortouse (variant of Old French tortue) and partly from Medieval Latin tort&umacron;ca, both ultimately from Vulgar Latin *tartar&umacron;ca, feminine of *tartar&umacron;cus, of Tartarus; see turtle1.
Middle English tortuse, tortuce, tortuge, from Medieval Latin tortuca, possibly from Late Latin tartarÅ«cha, from Late Latin tartarÅ«chus (“of Tartarus"), from Ancient Greek Ï„Î±ÏÏ„Î±ÏÎ¿á¿¦Ï‡Î¿Ï‚ (tartarouchos, “from Tartaros, Tartarus, the land of the dead in ancient stories"), because it used to be thought that tortoises and turtles came from the underworld; or from Latin tortus (“twisted").