Language Learning: Pelé Becomes a Word

Language Learning: Pelé Becomes a Word

This month we take a different approach in our Language Learning series. Previously, we learned more about specific languages, including PA Dutch, Ewe and Punjabi.

This time we explore a specific word or person actually: Pelé.

Brazilian football (soccer) star Pelé has always been known for greatness. He is the only three-time World Cup winner and considered by many to be the best ever. He is also now officially in the dictionary.

Earlier this year, the word “Pelé” was added to a Portuguese-Brazilian dictionary as an adjective meaning exceptional, incomparable, unique, and someone out of the ordinary.

For instance, Pelé used in sentence could be, “She is the Pelé of race car driving,” or “He can become the Pelé of ice hockey if he continues this level of play.”

Pelé was added as a word to the online edition of The Michaelis dictionary after a charity petition was launched after Pelé’s passing to add his name to the dictionary.

It made us wonder if there was another celebrity or sports star whose name has been turned into a word in any language. Let us know if you have any feedback.

Congratulations on another achievement for the great Pelé.

Source: NPR, April 27, 2023