Friday, August 01, 2008


OVATION, n. In 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.
—Dudley Spink
2008 Update:  The jostling, shouting, waving, slapping, clapping, spitting eruption that stagecraft compels from a polite audience.

Rabbit rabbit, y'all


Anonymous said...

ovation: Applause for an egg.

Jim said...

Ovation: Applause for Doug, he finallly woke up this morning!

Ovation: The work product of an ovary.

Ovation: I love applause, I hope I didn't lay an egg this morning! That's why that old guy got egged, he wasn't performing very well. His product stunk!

mireille said...

Rabbit! Rabbit! xoxo

javajazz said...

Tibbar, Tibbar, goD,
because, if the truth be known,
i done forgot it was
a fresh new month...

ps, i've been known to hoot, cheer
and clap loudly at plays and
jazz clubs, but i ain't spit,
erupted, or slapped anyone,
at least not yet...

Anonymous said...

It is a little known fact that the word OVATION has its roots in the Yiddish language. The word evolved from the expression oy vey and the word, shun.

Oy vey is actually an expression of dismay or unhappiness. Shun is the action of ostracizing a member of a sect, removing them from the in group to the out group.

You see, from the birth of Eve's first child to this very day, shunning is an effective child-rearing discipline. These days we call it time out.

The term "oy vey shun" became a common part of a small Jewish sect's language, and evolved from a negative to a positive, during the escape of the Jews from slavery and their great exodus from Egypt.

Over the course of those forty years spent wondering in the desert, Jewish children, like children the world over, indulged in entertaining themselves by irritating their elders. When one child's misdeeds were greeted with the shout, "Oy vey!" and the order to separate him or herself from polite society, the child would them run off to his or her play group and repeat the tale of his or her shunning, which generally lead to expressions of laughter, approval and praise.

That is how the word took on a positive aspect and became a permanent part of the young people's vocabulary and eventually the vocabulary of all the world.

TLP said...

An ovation is what you give to a speaker to make him stop. But if you give him too much of it, he'll give you an encore. Bummer.

TLP said...

Rabbit rabbit. I'm late, I'm late....

tsduff said...

Rabbit Rabbit - was here FIRST this morning but couldn't think of anything for ovation except something a little off color, which of course was not for sharing here.

Ariel the Thief said...

Ovation, gratitude to the one put us on the wave.

Rabbit, rabbit!

Anonymous said...

Ovation - some computer product that outlived its usefullness.

Well, no. It never did what it was supposed to do. And for that, I boo'd.

Anonymous said...

I had to go look this up. Ovum does indeed mean "egg" in Latin, but "ovation" comes from the Latin verb "ovare" (to applaud), not "ovum". I can't imagine that some Roman somewhere didn't find, and use, the pun, but I can find no reference to an orator being egged in the Forum. Of course, that might be due to my small Latin.

Egging seems to have fallen out of fashion in these latter days; critics of speeches tend to prefer responding with press conferences or lawsuits. Perhaps because the practice has risen in esteem, it being reserved for royalty.

Lila said...

Rabbit, rabbit! They also make a nice acoustic-electric guitar.

Anonymous said...

Ovation! was the name of the music camp I worked at this summer. Someone was thinking along the same lines as Bierce's actor.

Jamie Dawn said...

Ovation: Ego-boosting noise

Rabbit, Rabbit!!!!!!!

Jim said...

I am a dummy, perhaps there are some others like me.

This is what I found:
"What's the deal with rabbit rabbit?

"You'll have good luck all month if the first words you utter on the first of the month are "rabbit rabbit." Bonus luck if it's your birth month.

"If it's the first of the month and you're reading this, don't fret. Simply reverse the process as you drift off into slumber land repeating "tibbar tibbar." That's rabbit rabbit backwards.

Guess I'll do the latter, thank goodness for that second chance.

Anonymous said...

I have cramps and was going not say I hear ya, but then I reread the word.

Ovations during State of the Union speeches should be banned, though they make for good comedy.

I mean have you ever watched those things, it's like the auto-ovation button has been pressed

Doug The Una said...

Applause for a Poobah.

Jim, one does have to watch where he leaves his eggs, doesn't he?

Brava, Mireille.

JJ, hooting qualifies. Happy August.

Quilly, I knew that had to be you.

TLP, it is a fine line. Wireless mikes don't help nothin' either.

Terry, off-color is welcome just not off-color language. You insinuate and I'll ovate.

Haha, Ariel.

Sauerkraut you're a little over my head today. Not hard, is it?

Amoeba, it's not every day you can catch Bierce in an unintentional error.

Who does, Sis?

Weirsdo, that person was using their egg for something wholesome. Kind of rare on the stage.

Rabbit, rabbit, hurray, JD.

Jim, around here it's a Pez family (TLP, AP3, Actonbell and Dddragon) tradition but that's the gist.

Cooper, that was bad timing, wasn't it? Not unlike the applause during SOTU.

Tom & Icy said...

Sometimes you have to be rowdy to be nice.