NewsPoliticsSportPelé’ becomes a Portuguese-dictionary word meaning ‘unique’

The Michaelis dictionary has officially added “Pelé”, the nickname of the late football legend, Edson Arantes do Nascimento, to its online edition to honour the football star.

The publishers of the Michaelis dictionary broke the news on Wednesday, adding that the word will also be included in the next edition of the printed version of the Portuguese-language dictionary.

The entry reads: “pe. lé adj. That or someone who is out of the ordinary, who or who by virtue of their quality, value or superiority cannot be equalled to anything or anyone, just like Pelé, the nickname of Edson Arantes do Nascimento (1940-2022), who is considered the greatest athlete of all time; exceptional, incomparable, unique.”

The following examples were given: “He is the pele of basketball”, and “She is the pele of Brazilian drama.”

This development is the result of a rigorous campaign by the Pelé Foundation, a charitable organisation created to preserve the player’s legacy, for the football legend’s name to be recognised with its own entry in the dictionary. The petition gathered more than 125,000 signatures.

Reacting to the inclusion, Pelé Foundation tweeted: “The king is officially in the dictionary! The expression that was already used to refer to someone who is the best at what they do is eternalized on the pages of the dictionary!

“Together we made history and put the name of the king of football in our Portuguese language. Pelé, the meaning of ‘best'”.

Pelé died in December 2022 from complications from colon cancer. He was aged 82.

By Ezinwanne Onwuka (Senior Reporter)

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