White Elephant

King of the White Elephant. The proudest title borne by the kings of Ava and Siam. In Ava the white elephant bears the title of “lord,” and has a minister of high rank to superintend his household.

The land of the White Elephant.
Siam.

To have a white elephant to keep.
To have an expensive and unprofitable dignity to support, or a pet article to take care of. For example, a person moving is determined to keep a pet carpet, and therefore hires his house to fit his carpet. The King of Siam makes a present of a white elephant to such of his courtiers as he wishes to ruin.

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

More on White Elephant from Fact Monster:

  • albino - albino albino [Port.,=white], animal or plant lacking normal pigmentation. The absence of pigment ...
  • elephant: Elephants and Humans - Elephants and Humans Elephants are regarded as among the most intelligent of mammals and can be ...
  • What Colors Mean - What Colors Mean We live in a colorful world. In many countries, colors represent various holidays; ...

Related Content