Ne

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je ne sais quoi

A positive or pleasant quality that is difficult to define. This French phrase translates to "I don't know what" in English. She had a certain je ne sais quoi that men found quite attractive.
See also: Ne

never the twain shall meet

These two people, things, or groups are so fundamentally different from one another that they will never be able to coexist or think alike. Primarily heard in US. My best friend is a staunch conservative, while my brother is a hardcore liberal, and never the twain shall meet.
See also: meet, never, shall, twain

ne plus ultra

The peak or highest point (of something). The film is often considered the ne plus ultra of the director's oeuvre. To this day, her administration is considered the ne plus ultra of political scandal.
See also: Ne, plus

never the twain shall meet

or

ne'er the twain shall meet

LITERARY
People say never the twain shall meet or ne'er the twain shall meet when they believe that there are so many differences between two groups of people or two groups of things that they can never exist together. The British education system is notorious for separating the sciences and the humanities. This academic `ne'er the twain shall meet' policy does not always reflect the needs of the real world. Note: People often vary this expression. For example, they say that the twain should meet or the twain are not supposed to meet. Although they recognised differences between East and West, they went on to argue that the twain should and must meet. Note: `Twain' is an old-fashioned word meaning two. This is a quotation from `The Ballad of East and West' (1889) by the English poet Rudyard Kipling: `Oh, East is East, and West is West, and never the twain shall meet.'
See also: meet, never, shall, twain

never the twain shall meet

two people or things are too different to exist alongside or understand each other.
This phrase comes from Rudyard Kipling's poem ‘The Ballad of East and West’ ( 1892 ): ‘Oh, East is East and West is West, and never the twain shall meet’.
See also: meet, never, shall, twain

ˌje ne sais ˈquoi

/%Z@ n@ seI "kwA:/ (from French, often humorous) a good quality that is difficult to describe: He has that je ne sais quoi that distinguishes a professional from an amateur.It has a certain je ne sais quoi that really appeals to me.
The meaning of the French phrase is ‘I do not know what’.
See also: Ne

never the ˌtwain shall ˈmeet

(saying) used to say that two things are so different that they cannot exist together: People in the area where I grew up were either landowners or farmers, and never the twain shall meet.
Twain is an old word meaning ‘two’.
See also: meet, never, shall, twain

ne plus ultra

Ultimate perfection, the highest point to which something can be brought. The words are Latin for “nothing further” and allegedly quoted an inscription on the Pillars of Hercules, in the Strait of Gibraltar, meant to prevent ships from going any farther. The term was taken over into English in the 1600s and with overuse became a cliché. For example, “In the fascination of young Russians for Western things, jeans are the ne plus ultra of the modish. . . .” (Collin Thubron, Among the Russians, 1983).
See also: Ne, plus

ne plus ultra

The highest point of excellence, acme. Loosely translated from the Latin for “there is no reason to go further,” the phrase is a synonym of “zenith.” A new car with all the most modern features that any buyer could wish for (or so the manufacturer claims) might be touted as the ne plus ultra of automobiles. Legend has it that “ne plus ultra”—in its literal sense—was inscribed on Gibraltar's Pillars of Hercules as a warning to mariners not to venture, depending on the direction in which they were sailing, into the Atlantic Ocean or the Mediterranean Sea.
See also: Ne, plus
References in periodicals archive ?
Ah Nee blinked his eyes rapidly, rubbed at them, then looked again.
Ah Nee went through the kitchen door into the living room and looked out the big picture window.
Ah Nee turned to go back into the kitchen but stopped.
Ah Nee: It was with great sadness that I learned of the passing of your son, Specialist Four Walter H.Y.
Ah Nee swayed from side to side, the reverberating echo of the ball stopping his movement in one direction and sending him back in the other.
Soon after though, Nee was sitting in his girlfriend Ronnie's apartment when he saw Whitey outside, staring through the window and pointing his rifle right at him.
Nee claims he grabbed his own rifle and chased after the mobster but was again unable to get a clear shot.
Days later he and two other armed men drove past Nee's car and sprayed it with bullets.
The Mullens eventually won the gang war and the Killeens went into hiding - but soon after Whitey became partners with Nee.
While Whitey made millions for himself, Nee began spending up to 20 per cent of his vast earnings from crime on arming the IRA.
Prefects: Clockwise, from centre, Gillian Kirk, nee Kerr, Gillian Robertson, nee Higgins, Reverend Ian Rankine, Akash Chopra, Callum Crews, Agnes Neeson, nee Farrell, Karen Smith, nee Blair, Yolande McAteer, nee Withey; Please Sir: McConnell, circled on the right, with the rest of the teaching staff at Lornshill Academy in the 80s; Strict but fair: Young; McConnell as a teacher at Lornshill