The Devil's Dictionary: Ovation
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.
But I thought it uncommonly queer,
That people and critics by him had been led
By the ear.
Assertion as plain as a peg;
In "ovum" we find the true root of the word.
It means egg.
- Dudley Spink