Interneurons of the cerebral cortex represent a heterogeneous population of cells with important roles in network function. At present, little is known about how these neurons are specified in the developing telencephalon. To explore whether this diversity is established in the early progenitor populations, we conducted in utero fate-mapping of the mouse medial and caudal ganglionic eminences (MGE and CGE, respectively), from which most cortical interneurons arise. Mature interneuron subtypes were assessed by electrophysiological and immunological analysis, as well as by morphological reconstruction. At E13.5, the MGE gives rise to fast-spiking (FS) interneurons, whereas the CGE generates predominantly regular-spiking interneurons (RSNP). Later at E15.5, the CGE produces RSNP classes distinct from those generated from the E13.5 CGE. Thus, we provide evidence that the spatial and temporal origin of interneuron precursors in the developing telencephalic eminences predicts the intrinsic physiological properties of mature interneurons.