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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.

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Entry taken from Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, edited by the Rev. E. Cobham Brewer, LL.D. and revised in 1895.

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White Bird (The)
White Brethren or White-clad Brethren
White Caps
White Caps
White Caps (1891)
White-coat (A)
White Cockade
White Company (The)
White Czar (The)
White Elephant
White Feather
White Friars
White Harvest (A)
White Hat
White Horse
White Horses
White House
White Ladies [Les Dames Blanches]
White Lies
White Moments of Life (The)

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Elephant (The)