And that's how the term is coined.
According to Wikepdia, a white elephant is a valuable possession of which its owner cannot dispose and whose cost (particularly cost of upkeep) is out of proportion to its usefulness.
I'm sure we have all spent money on something that we thought will be really useful, only to have it talking up space in the house, or stored in that insignificant part of your storeroom.
Some time back, when I was living in the house of my in-laws, my Wifey bought a exercise bicycle. The idea was that exercise bikes will help us to sweat in the comfort of our own homes. You can't jog when it's raining outside. And you can watch TV while on the exercise bicycle. But after the novelty has gone, the exercise bicycle became a white elephant in the house. It was taking up a significant amount of space in the house, and no one had the discipline to use it. After all, who needs to exercise when there's so much stuffs to do at home? TV, Internet, mahjong etc...
My Wifey has a Chinese guzheng (yes, my Wifey can play it) which is taking up space in my current spare room. It's kind of displayed there because if you don't display it, you won't play it. I guess the inverse is also true.
I had my fair share of white elephants, which I bought probably at the spur of the moment.
There's the professional juggling balls, which do not take up alot of space, but cost me a bomb (because these are "professional" balls). I should really pick up juggling someday to entertain the kids.
And then there's the classical music CD collection which I bought and hardly listen to after I realise that I can only relate to the more popular (and catchy) tunes from Tchaikovsky and Vivaldi.
Maybe it's time to polish some of those white elephants and pass them off as birthday gifts. =p
So what are the notable white elephants that you have at home?