Journalism in the service of society

‘Exceptional, incomparable’: ‘Pele’ becomes an official dictionary word

THE late Brazilian football legend Pele has had his status elevated even higher as his name is now an entry in a popular dictionary in his homeland.

The three-time World Cup winner, widely regarded as the best footballer to ever play the game, died in December at the age of 82 after a long battle with colon cancer.

A Brazilian dictionary has now added ‘Pele’ as an adjective to describe someone who is “exceptional, incomparable, unique.”

The Michaelis dictionary announced the entry yesterday as part of a campaign that gathered more than 125,000 signatures to honour the great man’s impact beyond football.

The dictionary entry reads: “The one that is extraordinary, or who because of his quality, value or superiority cannot be matched to anything or anyone, just like Pelé; nickname of Edson Arantes do Nascimento (1940-2022), considered the best athlete of all time; exceptional, incomparable, unique. Examples: He is the Pelé of basketball, she is the Pelé of tennis, she is the Pelé of Brazilian theater, he is the Pelé of medicine.”

The Pelé Foundation, Santos FC — where he began and played most of his career — and many Brazilians celebrated the decision by the publishers of one of the country’s most popular dictionaries.

“The expression that was already used to refer to the best at something is already eternal in the pages of the dictionary,” Pelé‘s social media channels said after the announcement.

“We made history together and put the name of the King of Soccer into the Portuguese language. Pelé means ‘THE BEST’.”

Comments are closed.

Naija Times