Unscrupulous photographers. We depend on them to capture nude pictures of celebrities who wont provide nude pictures through normal channels, or who won't do so fast enough.

They also killed Princess Di.

Singular form is: paparazzo.

The term paparazzi comes from the Federico Fellini film La Dolce Vita (1960), a tale of the decadent movie business in Rome. In the 1950s, many Hollywood companies flocked to Rome, and this combined with the native Italian film industry caused Rome to be briefly called "Hollywood on the Tiber".

La Dolce Vita ("The good life") chronicles the decadence and hedonism through the eyes of gossip columnist Marcello Rubini (Marcello Mastrioanni ). His partner in crime is a photographer named Paparazzo (Walter Santesso), who specializes in capturing celebrities in compromising positions. The film, not to mention the real life scandals which inspired the movie, did much to bring public attention to the celebrity pursuing writers and photographers.

The name is actually an Italian family name, and is probably a corruption of papataceo, a type of mosquito.

Source: Bondanella, Peter. The Cinema of Federico Fellini, 1992.
Further to Gamaliel's WU:

"Paparazzo" is indeed an Italian family name. Fellini found it in the book that he was reading during the making of "La Dolce Vita".

It is the name of the the hotelkeeper in George Gissing's "By The Ionian Sea", based upon the English author's travels in Calabria in 1897.

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