Name That Tortoise Shell Home

Yesterday I showed you a new design of a Tortoise Shell Home by Bill Kastrinos and showed you a few photographs of the prototype in progress. Bill asked me if I had any suggestions for a name for his new Tortoise and wondered if I would bounce it off of the Tiny House Blog readership.

I decided to make this even more of a team effort and asked my friend Michael Janzen of Tiny House Design fame to use his Google Sketch Up skills to draw up a likeness of Bill’s new creation. Michael recently did a video of how he designs tiny houses using Google Sketch Up and you can see it at the Small Living Journal.


Bill’s Tortoise Shell Homes are named “Desert, Box and Galapagos,” and he needs a new name. Please submit your suggestion using the comments field below. Your submissions must be submitted between now and May 10th, my birthday and Mother’s Day. I will than give them to Bill Kastrinos and announce the winning name next week.

Thanks for your participation and great ideas in naming this unusual Tortoise!


8 x 26 Floor Plan

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Vooodooo84 - May 6, 2009 Reply


Daniel - May 6, 2009 Reply

Ok, I’ll go along with this. Here’s my submission. First, I wanted to mention that since Tortoise Shell company have their models names after types of turtles, I thought I would look up some types. Pretty quickly I found a site with different names. One name I thought was odd (because I haven’t seen it before) was Matamata. I clicked on it and read the description of this type. One thing that caught my eye was this comment “its interesting lifestyle and bizarre appearance make it perfect for a beautiful display”.
So, with the interesting lifestyle that these tiny houses bring, and the interesting appearance of the new design. I submit this as the name for the new model.
Here’s the link of what I found:


April Kersey - May 6, 2009 Reply

I think the new model should be named the Terrapin. Most turtle names don’t sound attractive as names for homes. Red-ear, alligator snapping turtle, yellow-bellied slider, loggerhead, Ridley’s, Gopher, none of these really roll off the tongue. Terrapin is short and catchy : )

Russell - May 7, 2009 Reply


They are large (~200 pounds), tough, and love to roam long distances. They are also very personable, and will follow you around to find out what you are doing (and if you have food). My mother has one named Mike.

Tim - May 7, 2009 Reply


P. Smith - May 7, 2009 Reply

How about the Aldabra?

It’s one of the largest tortoises in the world, it carries its home on its back, and, besides, the name is pretty cool.

Kent Griswold - May 7, 2009 Reply

Getting some neat suggestions, thanks everyone so far. I’m looking forward to seeing what is chosen. Keep them coming…

Cassie P. - May 7, 2009 Reply

I think it should be called “Tortue” as this is the french translation of turtle. I think it fits and I have already started calling it that. It looks like a fresh, new take on the original tortoise, so I think “Tortue” works well because it sounds like a new version of “tortoise”.

Name That Tortoise | Tiny House Design - May 7, 2009 Reply

[…] like to help name this new tortoise please visit Kent’s website, Tiny House Blog, and post your Tortoise Shell Home suggestion in the comments […]

Nate - May 7, 2009 Reply

tortuga – Spanish for Turtle

Christopher Vigliotti - May 7, 2009 Reply


Greg C in Austin TX - May 7, 2009 Reply

The “Hermann”

because the side of it looks like a face. Was that intentional?

Because the left window and roof bumps up, it looks like a face raising an eyebrow in surprise, which is what the Tortoise Shell guys probably want their homes to do with prospective customers. It sure looks more interesting that way, instead of the windows being the same and at the same level. Somewhere, somebody is pretty darn smart, that’s for sure.

I don’t know much about tortoises, but Hermann is a type of tortoise. I saw it at
Appropriately, the list of tortoises is named “Tortoises that stay small!”

Good luck picking a name! Thanks-

Daniel Alberto - May 7, 2009 Reply

Because of the shape and the capability to go miles without much H2O, I suggest: “Camel”

Daniel - May 7, 2009 Reply

Sulcata that Russell mentioned sounds good too.


Morgan - May 8, 2009 Reply

Don’t know much about turtles or tortoises, Tortuga is the name of a navy ship. USS Tortuga. It hauls marines and their equipment around. Any way, I like the idea of the roof line you could put windows below the upper eves, and a skylight/hatch on the lower roof without fear of it ripping off as you drive down the road. I am a lover of natural light, and am trying to figure out ways of adding windows without messing up looks and adding leaks. I think you guys may be onto something, maybe a gambrel roof on the tongue end(for head room over the loft) and the lower roof for hatch, skylight?

Dana - May 8, 2009 Reply

Carapace. The meaning of Carapace is shell, conveying protection and shelter. The sound (pronounced kare-uh-peys) says ‘care’, ‘pays’, but visually the word reminds of car and pace (movement), space.

Carapace… “A bony or chitinous shield, test, or shell covering some or all of the dorsal part of an animal, as of a turtle.” – “The carapaces of many species of turtles are brightly colored and patterned and allow individuals to identify others of their species at a distance. The carapaces expand and grow outward like growth rings on a tree as the turtle or tortoise matures.” –

Dave - May 11, 2009 Reply

The “Darwin” as its a natural evolution of the tortiseshell design

bill - May 16, 2009 Reply

The roof line suggested cards falling toether, and since it is mobile: “Shuffle” would be my suggestion. Yeah, it is after the 10th, but there it is.

Rando - June 28, 2009 Reply

If I could see some floorplan options for this unit, I’d possibly be ready to buy! This prototype is way cool.

    Kent Griswold - June 28, 2009 Reply

    I’ll talk to Bill and see if he has any available. I will also let him know you are interested and have him contact you…Kent

Robin - September 10, 2010 Reply

“Honu”. The Hawaiian translation for turtle. Turtles are very important to the Hawaiian culture! They are revered. Plus, it’s short and sweet, and reminds you of Paradise. =)

Tortoise - May 31, 2011 Reply

Sorry to Greg C in Austin TX but I think, for a tortoise, Hermann is a bad name. I would reccomend for a male maybe Stan, because of being found and in the trade in UzbekiSTAN, and PakiSTAN. But for a girl maybe Tessa, just because it sounds nice for a female tortoise.

Kim - August 27, 2012 Reply

Looks like I am a bit late but.. One Lick Ruby.

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