Pelé in Brazil in the dictionary: I think it icks!

For many, the measure of all things, not only in football: Pelé, here in 1977
Bild: picture alliance / AP Images

He is a legend of football – and of sport: “Pelé” can now also be found as an adjective in Brazilian dictionaries. What if German soccer heroes made it to an entry?

In the short language primer for Brazilian elementary school students, the task could soon be set: Form a sentence with pelé! A solution that is correct in terms of content, but outrageous from a compatriot’s point of view, would be to say: “Lionel Messi is really pelé.” But such a sentence about Argentina’s arch-rival would not come across a decent Brazilian’s lips. The term pelé stands for a superlative meaning “incomparable, unique” and is therefore almost something like an expression of sympathy (which excludes Argentine football world champions from the outset).

is colloquial skin Although it has been used in Brazilian Portuguese for some time, the adjective has now made it into one of the leading dictionaries and is therefore part of the standard language. According to the dictionary definition means skin “something or someone that, because of its quality, value, or superiority” cannot be equated with anything.


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