The name of the Brazilian football legend “Pele”, who died last December, was included in the dictionary of common names of the Portuguese language, which includes 167 thousand words, while 265 million people speak Portuguese around the world.
The greatest soccer player of all time, Edson Arantes do Nascimento, who died on December 29 at the age of 82, was known by the nickname “Pele”, colloquially used in Brazil as a synonym for excellence.
In Michaelis’ dictionary of the Portuguese language, “Pelé” (with a lowercase letter B, unlike the initials at the beginning of names where it is written with a capital letter) is synonymous with “exceptional, incomparable, unique”.
As for the definition of the word in the electronic version of the dictionary, it came as follows: “something or someone extraordinary, a thing or person that, by virtue of its quality, value or superiority, cannot be equated with anything or anyone else, such as Pele, the surname of Edson Arantes do Nascimento (1940-2022), and is considered the greatest athlete of all time.
Michaelis’ dictionary also gives some examples of the use of the word Pele: “He is Pele basketball”, “He is Pele Brazilian drama”, “He is Pele medicine”.
On the other hand, the digital version of the Brazilian Academy of Literature, which oversees the Portuguese language in Brazil, where 215 million speakers of this language live, did not include the word “Pele”.
This addition to the dictionary is the result of a joint campaign launched by the Pele Foundation on April 14, in partnership with Santos, the club where the world champions starred three times (1958, 1962 and 1970) and the “Sport F” channel of the Globo Group, the largest media conglomerate in the country.
Four months after the death of the round ball icon, he still honors the eternal No. 10 holder for Santos and the “Seleção” national team, by standing a minute of silence before all Brazilian league matches and South American competitions such as the Copa Libertadores or Copa Sudamericana.
Venezuelan Sotildo, the current No. 10 in Santos, says in a promotional video: We have already used (Pele) as a compliment to others, it is time to honor him by making him eternal in the dictionary.