Tuesday, February 7, 2012


So I was looking through a blog about designer wedding dresses (don't judge me!) I found a designer called Temperly London. I thought, "Temperly? Hmm, very interesting. I wonder where that one comes from?"

I immediately assumed that this name had something to do with Tempest, or maybe even Temprence. But no. Temperley (pronounced "TEM-per-lee," I think) is an Anglo-Saxon surname is a variant of Timperleigh or Timperley, which is the name of a town in North Cheshire, England. In Old English timper means "timber" and leah means "glade." Therefore, the meaning of the name is listed as "the clearing where timber for building was obtained." Hmm. Not the most Pagan-friendly of meanings. Not much is sadder than a cleared-out forest.

Unless it wasn't cleared out by humans for building purposes. I mean, it literally means "tree glade." The rest of that definition is just assumption, and that's probably why the namesake town was devoid of trees. But trees could be very easily removed via a forest fire or a volcano or a number of other natural means.

Besides England, a place called Temperley also shows up in South America. It's a city in the province of Buenos Aires, Argentina. It was named after English textile merchant George Temperley, who founded the town in 1912.

The first recorded spelling of this name as a surname was for Emmet Timberly's wedding records in 1561. So if you meet a little Timberly, it's not made up! The parents picked up an unusual surname name, although possibly unknowingly. Throughout the ages, other spellings have included Tympirleg and Temperli.

This name is probably going to appeal to people who want a fashionable but not popular surname-name for a girl the most. Some people might sneer at it, but I think Temperly has a lovely sound (I like it better without the extra "e"). But unfortunately, it's sound is almost too trendy for it's own good: people unaware of it's history will think it's made up. Which is a shame. The more I run it through my brain the more I like it.


Image Credit:
Found via http://pinterest.com


  1. Temperley is actually quite nice, and it doesn't really feel too surname-y. And the fashion label has become very associated with Kate Middleton, so that could work to its advantage.

  2. Hey this is a nice name, which I'd never heard before.

    Glades can occur naturally in forests, or have been done so long ago that they have come to seem natural. I'd keep thinking of those kind of glades ... it's a lovely meaning.

  3. My first thought was the fashion designer - not necessarily a bad thing. I think the name Temperley has a rather upbeat sound to her. She rather reminds me of the name Waverly.


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