res ipsa loquitur. (rayz ip-sah loh-quit-her) n. Latin for "the thing speaks for itself"
When they hear or read the name, Latinists and lawyers almost always say something to the extent, "Oh, yes, I see what you did there." If you are someone who has a life (i.e., not a Latinist or lawyer)...don't feel bad that you likely don't immediately understand or make the connection with our name. You have a life, after all. You may wonder how and why the name Res Ipsa came to be? Here's the story behind the latin/legal term, its meaning and significance in the field of law, and how and why Res Ipsa became the name for our premium handmade travel and leisure goods business.
What does the term mean 'Res Ipsa' mean? What are its historical roots?
The literal term 'Res Ipsa' means "the thing itself." In law, the res ipsa doctrine was first used in the English court case Byrne v. Boadle (1863) and applies to self-evident facts. As the story goes...
"The leading English case, and one of the first to formulate the specific doctrine of res ipsa loquitur is Byrne v. Boadle. Here it appeared that the plaintiff, while walking along the public street, was struck by a barrel of flour falling from a window above, The plaintiff could testify nothing as to the accident save that he had suddenly been injured by some falling object. Yet he had averred negligence in his pleading. Two eye witnesses testified that they saw a barrel falling, but could offer no evidence as to the reason for the accident, if "accident" it could be called. Because the plaintiff sought to recover on the grounds of negligence and there was no evidence of negligence, the court non-suited the plaintiff....The [appellate] court thought that a barrel "could not roll out of a warehouse without some negligence, and to say that the plaintiff who is injured by it must call witnesses from the warehouse to prove negligence" was preposterous."
Put another way, the facts of the case were so obvious that further proof was unnecessary. The thing spoke for itself.
Why do we feature a barrel as our logo?
We use the barrel in our logo as a subtle acknowledgment of the origin of our name. Even if you're not a Latinist or a lawyer, people associate barrels with handmade products that time take to reach their zenith. For example, fine wines and whiskeys are aged in handmade barrels, and everything that comes out of such barrels is unique. We make one-of-a-kind products that take decades to complete. Each kilim rug was woven by a family in central Turkey, used for decades as a floor covering, and repurposed into something unique and beautiful many years later. You may not be familiar with kilim, but the beauty and quality of the raw material speaks for itself.
What is the significance of 'Res Ipsa' today?
Courts around the world recognize the res ipsa doctrine. It's commonly used in medical malpractice cases (i.e., a scalpel is left behind in the abdomen after an appendix removal--it is pretty obvious what went wrong).
Today, res ipsa loquitur, in its abbreviated form, res ipsa, is used to describe events and circumstances that are self-evident or so obvious that no further explanation is necessary. It regularly appears in newspapers and magazines as shorthand for the all-too-obvious.
Why the name Res Ipsa?
Co-founders, Josh and Odini, were both full-time lawyers when they launched the business in 2013. The first product they made were neckties because they couldn't find the perfect necktie. They knew that practically the only people who wear ties to work are lawyers. As a nod (or knock) to their primary hustle as attorneys, they chose Res Ipsa. A fortuitous trip to Istanbul to source tie fabric (a story in itself), created an opportunity to pivot into the business you know today, known for premium handmade travel and leisure goods that would quite literally speak for itself. The side hustle quickly became the main hustle. Res Ipsa was born out a desire to break with convention. There's no further explanation necessary.