Today’s idiom: “White elephant”

16 Oct

An elephant, as we all know, is rather big. And if you own one, it is probably expensive to feed and to care for.

A “white elephant” is usually something big that cost a lot of money in the beginning, and it still costs a lot of money to keep, even though it may be quite useless now. For example, after the Olympic Games in Athens in 2004, the Olympic stadium became a “white elephant”. It was expensive to maintain, but nobody wanted to use it.

We also use the name “white elephant” for gifts that we don’t want. Sometimes people have “white elephant parties”, where you can bring your unwanted gifts and swap them with other people’s unwanted gifts.

Does your country have any famous white elephants?

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One Response to “Today’s idiom: “White elephant””

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. The Metaphor | Hägar Language School - March 18, 2014

    […] (*) By the way, you can find more elephant metaphors here: “elephant in the room“, and “white elephant“. […]

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