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.
Farlex Financial Dictionary. © 2012 Farlex, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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.

The Complete Real Estate Encyclopedia by Denise L. Evans, JD & O. William Evans, JD. Copyright © 2007 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
"Does he mean 'Virasat-e-Khalsa', which salutes Sikh history, is a white elephant?" Badal said.
A war was fought in the 16th century between Thailand and Myanmar -- then known as Siam and Burma, respectively -- over disputed ownership of four white elephants.
"Hills Like White Elephants." The Complete Short Stories ofErnest Hemingway.
British dissatisfaction with the political situation in Burma and genuine fascination with "white elephants" formed the context of the controversy over the authentication of Toung Taloung as a genuine white elephant.
West Yorkshire County Council was abolished, not because it was a "white elephant" but because Margaret Thatcher could not stand the justified criticism of her by London's County Hall on the opposite side of the Thames from the Houses of Parliament.
- 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 9.99).
ERNEST HEMINGWAY'S "HILLS LIKE WHITE ELEPHANTS" is, if taken literally, a story in which little actually "happens": a couple has drinks at a train station in Spain and argues about something rather vague.
Going Wild: White Elephants with Meg Ryan (C5) THERE was a time when the only people who watched survival pogrammes were geeky biologists and environmentalists - until the bigname celebrities stepped in.
Yet cities such as Cincinnati make such development more difficuLt by continuing to focus on white elephants rather than the basic reforms that can help generate a broad economic base.
I would love to have put my money towards Save the Children rather than the white elephants Camelot have chosen.
So come on, let's make some good decisions that could draw the crowds into the city and make the most of what is good and maybe get rid of all the eyesores and white elephants that do nothing for us except bring bad publicity.