OVATION, n. n ancient Rome, a definite, formal pageant in honor of
one who had been disserviceable to the enemies of the nation. A
lesser "triumph." In modern English the word is improperly used to
signify any loose and spontaneous expression of popular homage to the
hero of the hour and place.
"I had an ovation!" the actor man said,
But I thought it uncommonly queer,
That people and critics by him had been led
By the ear.
The Latin lexicon makes his absurd
Assertion as plain as a peg;
In "ovum" we find the true root of the word.
It means egg.
-- Ambrose Bierce, "The Devil's Dictionary"