: from the beginning
Ab ovo is Latin for "from the egg." The Roman poet Horace used it in the phrase ab ovo usque ad mala, which translates as "from the egg to the apples" and alludes to the Roman tradition of starting a meal with eggs and finishing it with apples. Horace was using ab ovo literally, but it's been in figurative use for at least 500 years. Both literal and figurative uses are still found:
Dinosaurs had come a long way from the macho "terrible lizards" that erupted ab ovo, ready to begin their rampages. One of Horner's discoveries was Maiasaura (the first use of the feminine "a" ending versus the masculine "us"), meaning "good mother lizard."
— Jack Hitt, Harper's, October 2001
"Peter and the Starcatcher"—a show that exalts that ephemeral space where actor and audience embrace, time out of time—promises to stand for many years as a worthy legacy to Rees: the superb actor, brilliant director, and absolutely marvelous man who was there ab ovo.
— Judith Newmark, The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 10 Dec. 2015