carapace

Carapace is a scientific term for protective shell. Turtles and crabs have them, but humans don't — so we make do with bike helmets and elbow pads.

Otherwise known as outerwear for arthropods and turtles, carapace is a word you probably won't come across very often, unless you're a zoologist. But that doesn't mean you can't use it to describe someone who's a tough nut to crack. If a person has a gruff attitude meant to protect them emotionally, they've certainly enclosed themselves in a carapace of sorts.

Definitions of carapace
  1. noun
    hard outer covering or case of certain organisms such as arthropods and turtles
    synonyms: cuticle, shell, shield
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    types:
    cuticula
    the outer body wall of an insect
    type of:
    scute
    large bony or horny plate as on an armadillo or turtle or the underside of a snake
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