a white elephant

a white elephant

something that has cost a lot of money but has no useful purpose The town's new leisure centre, recently completed at a cost of ten million pounds, seems likely to prove a white elephant.
See also: elephant, white
References in classic literature ?
All down the line I had kept an eye for suspicious characters with an eye upon me; but even my self-consciousness failed to discover one; and I reached my haven of peace, and of fresh fell air, feeling, I suppose, much like any other fool who has spent his money upon a white elephant.
The concept is believed to have originated from a Thai King gifting a White Elephant to a subordinate with whom the King was dissatisfied.
3) By exhibiting the elephant, Barnum staged a trick enacting the English definition of a white elephant, playing on British perceptions of 'eastern' decadence and Burmese corruption.
Paul said he thought that most local people were not interested in skiing and, if the centre fails, it will become a white elephant and an eyesore.
BET DAVIES (Viewpoints, November 6) berated JC Bird for calling the Millennium Centre a white elephant and suggesting the Assembly is the same.
Disappointingly, when she at last finds what she thinks is one of these elephants, we don't even know for sure if it is one because only a representative of the King of Thailand can declare the authenticity of a white elephant.
A white elephant captured in October in a jungle area of Myanmar was welcomed in Yangon on Thursday with pomp and festivities, according to state-run newspapers published Friday.
Giving a gift of a white elephant would be done to someone considered an enemy--the idea being that you would eventually wipe out your enemy's wealth with the care of the sacred elephant.
Construction began in 1982, and with a price tag so far of $2 billion, it is considered a white elephant.
Everyone knows the Convention Center is a white elephant,'' Villaraigosa said.
Campaigners against an elected regional assembly unveiled their representation of what it would be - a white elephant.
In Myanmar history, only during the reign of just and virtuous kings, was such a white elephant usually discovered, and the country prospered in peace and tranquillity as a result.
Let's face it, this was a white elephant before,'' said Councilman Hal Bernson, who chairs the committee.
I think it would be a mistake to dump the building just to dump it and to say we don't have a white elephant anymore,'' Romero said.
For more than a year, that has been the only question of importance about the proposal to build a new home for the Los Angeles Kings and Lakers next to the new Convention Center - a white elephant that needs up to $40 million in taxpayer subsidies this year.