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What does a white elephant mean?

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December 09, 2009 4:33PM

A white elephant is a valuable possession which its owner cannot dispose of and whose cost (particularly cost of upkeep) exceeds its usefulness. In some Eastern countries elephants born white were considered sacred and had to be well looked after and not allowed to work. A lot of expense for no benefit. In modern terms a white elephant could be Dad's vintage car, or the countries overseas protectorates, or the family villa in far off Lalaland.