- It refers to something turning upside down.
- To cause something to revolve.
- The position is changed in such a manner that it (whatever is being referred to) is upside down, capsized.
- Refers to a mishap where the person involved is helpless.
- The automobile turned turtle on the highway when the storm got too strong.
- The insect turned turtle and that was it.
- The ship turned turtle and unfortunately no one on board could be saved.
- The Katrina storm was so bad that many houses and cars turned turtle in its wake.
- The mother held on to her infant with all her might when the car turned turtle.
- I lost my laptop in an accident where we had collided with the curb and the car turned turtle. Luckily, that was all we lost.
- The crew ship was in bad shape due to the storm and finally turned turtle very close to the shore.
Turtles turned on their back are vulnerable and die easily. Turning turtle literally means to be on ones back and open to mishaps. The origin of this phrase is not available although speculated to be in the early 1800’s.
It is often also used as a reversal of something but this is not amongst the most popular uses of this idiom