Turtle Hull

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8 comments on this post.
  1. Steve Parkes:

    Boot: I was told some decades ago that “boot” comes from the French “boite” [circumflex-i], meaning “box”. Almost the same as “trunk”; likewise “bonnet”/”hood”.

    I wonder if there are any other bits of cars where we’re separated by our common language?

  2. Vic Parrish:

    I always thought the origin of “tump” was a sort of mish-mash of “tip” and “dump”, which in the circumstances I’ve heard people use it made perfect sense.

  3. Louise Hope:

    >> I wonder if there are any other bits of cars where we’re separated by our common language? <<

    Most bits, I think. Or parts, as we say in the US. Windscreen : windshield.

  4. B.K. Warfield:

    My grandparents in east Texas called the car trunk the “turtle hull” but never explained why. I’ve wondered whether it was a corruption of the term “turtle hold” on old sailing ships. They also used “car shed” for garage or carport.

  5. Loryia Bond:

    My Aunt in West Virginia always called the trunk of the car the ‘Turtle’ – fascination with word origins! Thanks for the forum!

  6. Barney Smith:

    Look at old cars from the forties and early fifties and you will see that the trunk lid resembles a turtle hull. A turtle shell that has had the turtle “hulled” out of it.

  7. William S. Deaver:

    Being a child growing up in the South in the 60s and 70s I can say without a doubt that “Turtle” was very common every day language referencing the trunk of a car but never in my life have I ever heard or used the term “calf rope” to mean surrender or instead of “Uncle”. That’s an obscure one to be sure.

  8. Penny Guynes:

    I was referring to my Mazda Miata turtle hull to my stepson who was born in eighties and he thought I was really out in left field when I said this. I googled turtle hull and came up with this site. I will tell everyone about the Word Detective. This is a very entertaining, educating, and the best site I have come across for the use of dialectical terms. I have used calf rope and tump, etc. This is part of my southern heritage which I am very proud of.

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