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  1. keannu's Avatar
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    Student or Learner
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      • Native Language:
      • Korean
      • Home Country:
      • South Korea
      • Current Location:
      • South Korea

    • Join Date: Dec 2010
    • Posts: 5,226

    ruin the recipient.

    According to legend in ancient Siam, now Thailand, a king gave a white elephant to someone whom he did not like. From then on he had to feed the elephant. The white elephant was considered holy in ancient times. Having a white elephant cost a great deal, and the elephant did nothing in return. The owner had to provide the elephant with special food and provide access for people who wanted to worship it. The recipient could not get rid of the elephant because it was a gift from the king. The gift would, in most cases, ruin the recipient. Now, “it’s a white elephant” is a common saying. Calling something you have “a white elephant” means “it is .”
    ① strange and uglycostly and useless
    ③ heavy and strong ④ cheap and practical

    Does "ruin someone" mean "economically damage someone" here?

  2. Moderator
    Retired English Teacher
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      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • England
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      • England

    • Join Date: Jun 2010
    • Posts: 25,936

    Re: ruin the recipient.

    Worse than that: to bankrupt him.

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