King of Siam

What springs to mind if you think of the phrase ‘white elephant’? Monuments to a politician’s hubris? The Millennium Dome? Unused and unloved Olympic venues around the world? Few people in England would associate this idiom directly with Elephas maximus, the Asian elephant, or imagine its roots in the royal courts of Burma and Siam. The Oxford English Dictionary hints at the two meanings for white […]

White elephants and the King of Siam