s) KEY NOUN:
- Any of various terrestrial turtles, especially one of the family Testudinidae, characteristically having thick clublike hind limbs and a high, rounded carapace.
- Chiefly British A terrestrial or freshwater chelonian.
- One that moves slowly; a laggard.
Alteration (influenced by porpoise
), of Middle English tortuce
from Medieval Latin tortca
, alteration of Late Latin tartarcha
, feminine of tartarchus
, of the underworld
; see turtle1