an albatross around your neck

albatross (a)round (one's) neck

A heavy burden that prevents one from achieving success. The phrase refers to Samuel Taylor Coleridge's poem The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, in which the narrator kills an albatross—a large white bird deemed an omen of good fortune. This act is thought to curse his ship, so he must then wear the albatross around his neck. The old property became an albatross around his neck as the costs of repair and renovation began to skyrocket.
See also: albatross, neck

an albatross around your neck

BRITISH, AMERICAN or

an albatross round your neck

BRITISH
If you describe something as an albatross around your neck or round your neck, you mean that it causes you great problems from which you cannot escape, or it prevents you from doing what you want to do. Being the son of a major criminal was an albatross around my neck. He agrees the song is a musical albatross around their necks. Note: This is a reference to the poem `The Rime of the Ancient Mariner' by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, in which the character who shot an albatross (= a large, white sea bird) has to carry the bird hung around his neck.
See also: albatross, around, neck
References in periodicals archive ?
If you have a healthy diet and take exercise, then even if you eat too much it will not hang around you like an albatross around your neck or your tummy - that is the message which is repeated and repeated and never heard.
If you have a healthy diet and take exercise then, even if you eat too much, it will not hang around you like an albatross around your neck or your tummy.
The house, especially, must feel like an albatross around your neck if you have a lot of capital tied up in it that you can't release.
You just need something to go your way - a penalty, a deflection - to get that first win under your belt and stop it becoming an albatross around your neck.
The flat may turn out to be a great buy or an albatross around your neck.
It's basically the way things are in the world of acting - one minute you're desperate for a role, any role, then you feel it's an albatross around your neck.
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