Where Did the Term “Paparazzi” For Celebrity Photographers Come From and What Does the Word Mean?

The word paparazzi is a nickname or tag for pushy celebrity photographers.

It comes from Frederico Fellini’s 1960 film La Dolce Vita and first appeared in its current use around 1968.

In the movie, the character Signor Paparazzo, the singular of paparazzi, was an obnoxious, creepy little man who was despised by the stars.

Before Fellini used it, the word papparazzo was a word in an Italian dialect for “buzzing insect.”

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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