050417 - WotD: ne (ne plus ultra)

ne

I know the use of the word ne when referring to the maiden name of a married woman, as in Christina Hellner ne Valvo. But I didn't know the word can be used in any other way.

In the May 2005 issue of Real Simple, page 76 in the article "Buy Now, Think Later":

    And then there's that vacation cabin I went in on with friends, possibly the ne plus ultra of impulse buys.

Well, it turns out, ne isn't used in other ways (though it is spelled in other ways: nee), when used by itself. ne plus ultra has a definition from the Merriam Webster online dictionary:

    the highest point capable of being attained