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107 "paparazzo" (Word origins - alt.usage.english)




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This article is from the alt.usage.english FAQ, by Mark Israel misrael@scripps.edu with numerous contributions by others.

107 "paparazzo" (Word origins - alt.usage.english)


This word for a freelance photographer who pursues celebrities
is first attested in English in 1966. It comes from Paparazzo,
the surname of the photographer played by Marcello Mastroianni in
Federico Fellini's 1960 film "La Dolce Vita". Fellini got the
name "Paparazzo" from the name of a hotelkeeper in George Gissing's
1901 novel "By the Ionian Sea". "Paparazzo" could be analysed in
Italian as "papa"="pope" + "razzo"="rocket"; according to Jesse
Sheidlower, "paparazzo" means "a buzzing insect" in dialectal
Italian. Webster's New World College Dictionary derives "paparazzo"
from French "paperassier"="a scribbler, rummager in old papers".

 

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