après moi le déluge
après moi, le déluge
Used to express selfish disregard for problems that may occur in the future, especially after one's death or reign of control. This French phrase literally means, "After me, the flood." Attributed to both King Louis XV and his mistress Madame de Pompadour, the phrase likely refers to (and foreshadows) the difficulties that would befall France after years of the aristocracy's lavish living. A: "Do you really have no regard for the trouble you're causing?" B: "You're overreacting. Besides, you and I will be long gone before anything bad might come of this. Après moi, le déluge!"
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
après moi le déluge
After I’m dead nothing will matter. This cliché, literally meaning “after me, the flood,” was allegedly said in slightly different form in 1757 by Madame de Pompadour to Louis XV after Frederick the Great defeated the French and Austrians at Rossbach. (She put it après nous le déluge, “after us the flood.”) The flood alludes to the biblical flood in which all but those on Noah’s ark perished. The phrase is still always stated in French.
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
après moi le deluge
A disaster will follow. The French phrase, translated as “After me the deluge,” has been attributed to King Louis XVI or to his mistress, Madame de Pompadour. He or she was referring to the centuries of excessive living enjoyed by the aristocracy and paid for by the rest of France and what would happen as a result when His Majesty (or Madame) went to their heavenly rest. Whether the king or his main squeeze was predicting a cataclysm or simply indicating that he or she didn't care what came after them isn't clear. Nevertheless, whoever spoke the words was a prophet in his or her time: fourteen years after Louis's death came the revolution that swept away the old order, including Louis's son. No one could have been ideologically further from the Bourbon monarchy than Karl Marx, who repeated the phrase in his Das Kapital: “Après moi le déluge! is the watchword of every capitalist and of every capitalist nation. Hence capital is reckless of the health or length of life of the labourer, unless under compulsion from society.” The phrase is the very appropriate motto of Britain's Royal Air Force 617 Squadron, nicknamed “the Dam Busters” for its sorties against German dams during World War II.
Endangered Phrases by Steven D. Price Copyright © 2011 by Steven D. Price