Trend Watch

Après moi le déluge


Lookups spiked on November 21, 2011.


After the congressional "super committee" failed to reach an agreement to cut the deficit, an influential commentator used it to critique Washington's politics.

In a column titled "Have they gone nuts in Washington?" David Gergen concluded with the French phrase après moi le déluge ("after me, the flood"). This expression describes people who behave as if they don't care about the future, since the "flood" will happen after they're gone.

The phrase is popularly attributed to king Louis XV, whose ineffectual rule contributed to the outbreak of the French Revolution 15 years after his death.

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