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Shortened form of "parachutist" and "paramedic". "Paratrooper" I agree with, but I don't see the other two in print dictionaries. — Paul G 14:21, 11 November 2007 (UTC)
I have frequently heard this as short form of paraprofessional: I've heard it specifically used to refer to an assistant teacher in grade school. I haven't time now to look for citations, but assuming the sense is citable, we can combine "paramedic" and other senses (but not parachutist or paratrooper, of course) into one: paraprofessional.—msh210℠ 21:30, 12 November 2007 (UTC)