What does "courting the paps" mean?

As in:

Paul Hollywood accuses Summer, 24, of ‘courting the paps’ and says he prefers a ‘quiet life’ after their split.

[The Sun]

  • 2
    From context (include a link next time, please), it is “Seeking the attention of the [tabloid] newspapers, in order to increase one’s visibility in the public eye, ie achieve cheap and lowly fame”.
    – Dan Bron
    Aug 5, 2019 at 10:53
  • 1
    For background: I didn’t recognize the term at all. Googling has it pretty robustly show up in various British contexts, usually by ordinary citizens in the comments sections of tabloid papers. So my guess is only a guess and it’s almost certain this is BrE, unknown to AmE speakers. Also, I’m not sure you’re already aware or not but “courting” here has its normal and unobscure meaning, it was only “paps” which was obscure. Because it felt like an idiom I didn’t know, I figured it was BrE and I initially guessed/wondered if it were “Courting Pap[ist]s” 😂.
    – Dan Bron
    Aug 5, 2019 at 11:01
  • 4
    @DanBron was it clear from your Googling that it is short for paparazzi? The full word is known to AmE speakers, I think.
    – user339660
    Aug 5, 2019 at 11:05
  • 1
    @Minty No, I thought papers, not paparazzi. Your answer makes more sense. We do have the word paparazzi but we never call them paps. In general, seems British slang has a greater preference for abbreviation than American slang does. On that point, do you pronounce the shortened version “paps” with the same (long) vowel as “paparazzi” or the (short) vowel from “paper”?
    – Dan Bron
    Aug 5, 2019 at 11:07
  • 1
    @DanBron it's pronounced to rhyme with map, nap, rap etc. Still a short vowel, I'd say, but not the same one as in paper.
    – user339660
    Aug 5, 2019 at 11:13

1 Answer 1


paps google books

Pap is the informal term used by the paparazzi and others in entertainment

To court the paps is to encourage ones own accessibility to photo media.

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