a big white elephant

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Senior Member
It has not hosted a big event since the Paralympics last September and is in real danger of becoming a big white Chinese elephant.
It is talking about Bird Nest Stadium, which hosted the opening of Beijing Olympic games.
I want to know what does "a big white Chinese elephant"?
  • panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    I want to know how to use that phrase.
    Can I say a luxury car is a white elephant?
    A BMW would be a white elephant if you gave it to someone who could not afford to use it or maintain it and insisted that they take their kids to school in it on Fridays, and keep it in good working order.

    Oh, yes, but they must not use it to travel to work.

    A white elephant is of no real use whatever, but must be kept in good condition.
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