Après moi, le déluge.

Who said this?

Après moi, le déluge.

ah-pray MWAH, luh day LEWZH.

After me, the flood.

It might have been said by Louis XV, who began his reign with the nickname “le Bien-Aimé” (luh bya-nay-MAY) and ended it more or less in disgrace for his ineptitude in foreign policy and his womanizing. Or it might have been said by Madame de Pompadour, once of his most famous mistresses (among many mistresses). Or it might not have been said at all. No one knows for sure.

It’s not even certain what it means. Well, the words are clear. But does it mean “Things are going to fall apart when I’m gone, you mark my words”? Or does it mean “I don’t care what happens. I’ll be outta here. For all I care, there may be another Great Flood”?

The latter is the sort of attitude that caused Louis to be so disliked, anyway. You can blame it on whomever you like. And you can choose which meaning you prefer, when you say it! You will be seen as mysterious, enigmatic, just a touch menacing. Try it out when they start talking about layoffs… but don’t blame me for any results!

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