|Five year old Victorian girl Tempany after donating her hair to cancer patients for wigs
The origins of the name Tempany (pronounced TEHM-pah-nee) are very vague. At best guess, it comes from the word Tempest, meaning 'violent storm'. Tempest comes from the Old French "tempeste", and Latin terms "tempesta" and "tempestas". All of these mean 'storm, weather, season' and 'commotion, disturbance'. It is also related to "tempus" meaning 'time, season', hence Tempest came to be known as 'a disturbance in a period of time, season or weather', which led to 'bad weather' or 'storm'. For this reason, Tempany is thought to have Old French and Latin origins.
It's unclear how the name Tempany came about, but it seems that it most likely started as a surname. Maybe it started as a misspelling of a different name, as many surnames we see today started that way, or maybe it was adopted by someone who lived in an area prone to storms, or a child who was born during a storm. No one really knows.
It's thought that the first known Tempany's were from Leinster in Ireland, where the Tempanys held a family seat as Chiefs. The first documented appearance of the surname Tempany in Australia is 1850, when Henry and Elizabeth Tempany arrived in Adelaide, South Australia aboard the ship 'Sultana'. The 1891 England and Wales census shows evidence of some Tempany familes in London, Warwickshire, Essex and Wiltshire, while the 1920 American census shows some in New York and Ohio.
Tempany is usually listed as an Australian name, maybe because it's one of the only (if not the only) country where Tempany is used as a first name. This is mainly thanks to actress Tempany Deckert, who was in one of Australia's longest running soapies 'Home and Away'. Tempany appeared in the show as teenager Selina Roberts Cook from 1994-1998, making her a household name in Australia. One of her besties on the show was played by actress Isla Fisher, who is in the upcoming 'The Great Gatsby'. Melissa George also starred on the show during this time.
|Tempany Deckert & Isla Fisher
in their 'Home and Away' days
Tempany is quite a pretty,with the benefits of not being an overly frilly or delicate name. It does however sound kind of similar to words such as temporary, timpani (kettledrums) and teriyaki, which could be a little off-putting. If you can look past that, it kind of has the sound of Tiffany, but with the strong, classical but modern feel of Cadence or Temperance.
I love that it sounds like it could be either an unearthed vintage gem, or a modern invented name, as I think the more "faces" a name has the better it's longevity. Plus, if you're looking for a weather related name, Tempany is much prettier and subtle than Storm, Stormy or Tempest. You can pretty much guarantee that your daughter won't come across many other Tempanys in her lifetime.