by Mark Israel
     [This is a fast-access FAQ excerpt.]
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".