Ab ovo

Coturnix_coturnix_eggs

Ab ovo:  From the beginning; complete; thorough.

The literal translation of this Latin phrase is “from the egg”.

The Romans used a phrase, “ab ovum usque ad malum” to describe a complete process.  The phrase means, “from the egg to the apple”.  It describes a complete Roman meal, ending in dessert – the apple.  The phrase is similar to our English idiom “soup to nuts”.

The Latin word for “egg” is ovum.  From ovum, English derives:

  1. ovate: an oval outline
  2. ovule: a small ovum
  3. ovoid: egg shaped
  4. Ovaltine: a drink mix with eggs as ingredients
  5. ovoviviparous: eggs hatched within the body of the parent… some snakes are ovoviviparous
  6. oviparous: producing eggs
  7. oval: egg shaped
  8. oviform: egg shaped, and
  9. ovary.