So I was searching the translation of the famous expression "Après nous, le déluge" and saw on Wikipedia that it's translated as После нас, хоть потоп. Having not seen хоть used in this way before, I looked up the definition, but none of the usages seem to explain this:

  1. at least, if only
  2. for example, even
  3. with relative pronouns forms indefinite (хоть кто, хоть где)
  4. although (like хотя)
  5. even if

(taken from Oxford English-Russian dictionary, excluding хотя бы and хотя бы что)

Could somebody explain a) why there is a need to insert хоть here, i.e. why not just После нас, потоп why would be the literal translation and b) what it signifies here? Thank you.

  • In French, the probabilistic nature of the deluge is omitted. In Russian, it is fully captured.
    – Alexander
    Commented Nov 24, 2020 at 18:01
  • "После нас потоп" is just an absolutely accurate prediction of a future fact; This will distort the meaning of the phrase. "После нас хоть потоп" - It meaning is that the king is absolute indifferent to what will happen after him. And he doesn't predict the flood - he doesn't know what will happen, but he emphasizes his absolute indifference. "хоть, хотя бы, даже если" - here reflects the maximum possible disaster of the hypothetical disasters, but it's hypothetical. Commented Dec 2, 2020 at 20:10
  • 2. for most example, and it's no matter Commented Dec 2, 2020 at 20:16

2 Answers 2


The difference is simple:

После нас - потоп means after us the flood - meaning just fact: after us there will be the flood.

On the contrary, после нас хоть потоп means after us even a flood - meaning “doesn't matter what would happen after us – even a flood, we don't care.”

  • Aaah, thank you very much, makes sense!
    – Ilya
    Commented Nov 24, 2020 at 12:08

The more accurate meaning of the word хоть here is I don't care about would it be. So the whole phrase by its meaning can be translated as After us it can be even a flood, I don't care

  • This doesn't seem to add much to an existing answer.
    – mustaccio
    Commented Mar 1, 2021 at 21:31

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