‘Pelé’ has become the newest word in the Portuguese language


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‘Pelé’ has become the newest word in the Portuguese language by being included as a new adjective in the Michaelis dictionary, as a synonym for “exceptional, incomparable, unique”.

“One who is out of the ordinary, who or who by virtue of his quality, value, or superiority cannot be equaled by anything or anyone, just like Pelé®, nickname of Edson Arantes do Nascimento (1940-2022), considered the greatest athlete of all times; exceptional, incomparable, unique. He is the Pelé of basketball. She is the pelé of tennis. She is the pelé of Brazilian dramaturgy,” reads Michaelis’ text.

'Pelé' has become the newest word in the Portuguese language

The inclusion of ‘Pelé’ in the dictionary was the result of a campaign by the Pelé Foundation, which collected 125,000 signatures on the Internet in a few months.

The campaign was supported by Santos, the club where “The King” played most of his sporting career, and the Globo media group.

The Brazilian Academy of Letters (ABL), which governs the language in the country where two thirds of Portuguese speakers live, launched its own dictionary in 2021, but it still does not include the word “Pelé”.

Edson Arantes do Nascimento ‘Pelé’, considered by many to be the greatest soccer player of all time, died on December 29, 2022 at the age of 82, as a result of multiple organ failure due to colon cancer from which he had been suffering during the previous year.

So far, he is the only player to have won three World Cups with his national team: Sweden 1958, Chile 1962, and Mexico 1970.

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