after the Lord Mayor's show

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From the proverb "After the Lord Mayor's show comes the dust-cart" (or "donkey-cart", or "shit-cart"). Bringing up the rear of the Lord Mayor's Show is a team to clean the manure of the pageant's horses.


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Prepositional phrase[edit]

after the Lord Mayor's show

  1. (idiomatic) Said of a disappointing or mundane event occurring straight after an exciting, magnificent, or triumphal event.
    • 1864, George Waters, Indian gleanings and thoughts of the past[1], G.H. Windeyer, Chatham, page 154:
      as is usual on all such occasions, after gaiety comes squalor; or, as we observe in respect to the annual pageant of the City of London that "after the Lord Mayor's Show comes a,—donkey-cart,
    • 1995 December 10, Clem Thomas, “White hot Swansea”, in The Independent (UK)[2]:
      The All Whites came into this match hotfoot from their stunning victory over Castres last Tuesday which took them into the semi-final of the prototype European Cup. ... For a while it looked as if it might be a case of after the Lord Mayor's show as Swansea struggled with one of their dozy moods, against Treorchy.
    • 2006, Jeremy Carrad, Running on Empty, Pegasus Elliot Mackenzie, →ISBN, page 40:
      "After the Lord Mayor's Show." Freddy looked up from reading Punch. "What is, old fruit?" "The excitement's gone. Back to dull monotony."

See also[edit]


  • 1986, Eric Partridge; Paul Beale, A dictionary of catch phrases: British and American, from the sixteenth century to the present day, 2nd edition, Routledge, →ISBN: