1590s, "of Ionia," the districts of ancient Greece inhabited by the Ionians, one of the three (or four) great divisions of the ancient Greek people. The name (which Herodotus credits to an ancestral Ion, son of Apollo and Creusa) probably is pre-Greek, perhaps related to Sanskrit yoni "womb, vulva," and a reference to goddess-worshipping people. As a noun from 1560s.
Ionia included Attica, Euboea, and the north coast of the Peloponnesus, but it especially referred to the coastal strip of Asia Minor, including the islands of Samos and Chios. The old Ionic dialect was the language of Homer and Herodotus, and, via its later form, Attic, that of all the great works of the Greeks. The name also was given to the sea that lies between Sicily and Greece, and the islands in it (1630s in English in this sense). The musical Ionian mode (1844) corresponds to our C-major scale but was characterized by the Greeks as soft and effeminate, as were the Ionians generally.
The Ionians delighted in wanton dances and songs more than the rest of the Greeks ... and wanton gestures were proverbially termed Ionic motions. [Thomas Robinson, "Archæologica Græca," 1807]
also Cytherian, 1719, "pertaining to Venus," from Latin Cytherea "Venus," from Greek Kythereia, from Kythera, Ionian island where Aphrodite was fabled to have arisen from the sea.
ancient Greek city on the Aegean coast of Anatolia, the northernmost of the Ionian cities, from Greek Phōkaia; its people were noted in ancient times for their long sea-voyages and naval power. Colonists from Phocaea founded the colony of Massalia (modern Marseille, in France). Related: Phocaean.
1540s, "of or pertaining to Miletus, ancient city of Caria on the Ionian coast of Asia Minor." From 1590s in reference to Ireland or the Irish, a different word, from Milesius, a legendary king of Spain, whose two sons were said to have conquered and reorganized Ireland in ancient times.
1961, from Italian Paparazzo (plural paparazzi) surname of the freelance photographer in Federico Fellini's 1959 film "La Dolce Vita." The surname itself is of no special significance in the film; it is said to be a common one in Calabria, and Fellini is said to have borrowed it from a travel book, "By the Ionian Sea," in which occurs the name of hotel owner Coriolano Paparazzo.