Emydoidea - derived from the Greek emydos, for freshwater turtle and the suffix oides, denoting likeness, in reference to the similarity with the genus Emys

blandingi - named for Dr. William Blanding, the Philadelphian naturalist who first observed the species

Blanding's turtle is tolerant of cold temperatures but not of heat. Due to its temperature preferences, this turtle is restricted to northern latitudes. It has a partially hinged plastron, which allows it to close the anterior of its lower shell against the carapace, for protection. This gives it the common name "the semi-box turtle" (A Box turtle's hinge allows its lower shell to completely close against the carapace).