white elephant

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White Elephant

An investment, especially in real estate, that is expensive, unprofitable, and difficult to sell. An example is a house that is overbuilt for its neighborhood. A white elephant is perhaps one of least desirable investments possible.

white elephant

Like the legendary white elephants of India, a property that is expensive to maintain, doesn't return any particular value, and can't realistically be sold to anyone else.

References in periodicals archive ?
For more information on Houlihan's World's Largest White Elephant Gift Exchange including official rules please visit www.
I will then discuss the significance of white elephants in Buddhist cosmology and how European observers misinterpreted the importance of these creatures.
I would think that Cardiff is number one in white elephants, to the detriment of people who are in need.
IF you want to know the meanings of the title phrases, buy the book, Red Herrings And White Elephants, by Albert Jack (John Blake, pounds 9.
The title describes the hills as being "like white elephants" rather than as "hills [that look] like white elephants.
It worked for Julia Roberts in Borneo and last night it was the turn of multimillionairess girl-next-goor Meg Ryan to head off to some far flung destination and examine one of the rarest animals on the planet - the white elephant.
In the meantime, warns Swindell, politicians chase white elephants in their downtowns.
I would love to have put my money towards Save the Children rather than the white elephants Camelot have chosen.
With the price of oil and natural gas escalating, concerns about global warming rising and electricity markets deregulating, these onetime white elephants are starting to look more like cash cows.
Users can give and re-give the same white elephants to indulge the spirit of generosity this holiday season.
Because tapping the city's budget to turn three actual elephants into white elephants is unfair to residents.
White elephants have been revered for centuries in south east Asia and were the symbol of kingship in Burma, Thailand and Laos.