albatross (a)round (one's) neck

(redirected from albatross around his 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
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

albatross around one's neck

A heavy burden of guilt that becomes an obstacle to success, as in The failed real estate scheme became an albatross around her neck, for now she could not interest other investors in a new project . This idiom comes from Samuel Coleridge's narrative poem, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner (1798), which is based on the widespread superstition that it is unlucky to kill this large white sea bird. In the poem a sailor does kill an albatross, and when the ship then is becalmed near the equator and runs out of water, his shipmates blame him and force him to wear the dead bird around his neck.
See also: albatross, around, neck
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

an albatross around your neck


an albatross round your neck

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
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

albatross round someone's neck

something that is burdensome to someone and hinders their progress, especially arising from some misdeed of their own in the past.
From the albatross shot dead by the sailor in Coleridge 's poem The Rime of the Ancient Mariner ( 1798 ), which brought his ship bad luck. The bird was hung round his neck as a sign of his guilt.
2000 Sunday Herald Being the offspring of a famous guy has become an albatross round the neck of many a budding young lion.
See also: albatross, neck, round
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

albatross around one's neck

A burden or stigma brought on by one's actions. Sailors considered the albatross bird to be an omen or manifestation of good luck, and to harm one was to invite disaster not only to the shooter or trapper but the entire ship's company. In Samuel Taylor Coleridge's poem “The Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner,” the ship's captain killed one such bird that had landed on the deck while the ship was becalmed. When the wind continued to stay away, the crew blamed the captain's action for the bad luck, and he was forced to wear the albatross's carcass around his neck as a reminder of his misdeed.
See also: albatross, around, neck
Endangered Phrases by Steven D. Price Copyright © 2011 by Steven D. Price
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References in periodicals archive ?
Bob McHugh came to Falkirk to shed the supersub tag that became an albatross around his neck at Motherwell.
"If the City had lived up to its agreement to assist in the financing of the Farish Street Entertainment District, through the JRA, Farish Street would be a jewel in the mayor's crown instead of an albatross around his neck," he said.
He laughs at the name Rodgers bestowed on him and the suggestion it could be an albatross around his neck.
I definitely feel the benefits of it." He laughs at the name Rodgers bestowed on him, and the suggestion it could be a bit of an albatross around his neck.
The crew dies and the Mariner has to endure a fate worse than death: he must wear the dead albatross around his neck for the rest of his life.
Mr Hester did a difficult job well, but his huge pay and larger bonuses were an albatross around his neck.
"A better-than-expected result for Nawaz could prove to be an albatross around his neck," said Muhammad Malick, a popular current affairs broadcaster.
If it does, Mikati's gamble would have been a success, a convenient way to break free from the Aounist albatross around his neck. But we can kiss goodbye to elections for the time being.
"He doesn't want her to be an albatross around his neck forever," his lawyer, Marilyn Chinitz, told the judge last week.
Failing to build on a good start is something Stokes has been guilty of a number of times already in his five-game Durham career, but the 18-year-old removed the albatross around his neck by becoming the second youngest batsman to make a Championship century for the county.
In the first instance our favourite lord was not the villain of the piece - that honour fell to his old chum George Osborne-although the fact that he was on the Russian billionaire's yacht at all has raised a number of questions about influence and that long-standing albatross around his neck of good judgement.
For their part, Muslims have held themselves from reaching out to Obama lest their support becomes an albatross around his neck.
But Tsvangirai could be brought crashing to the ground unless he can somehow rid himself of the British albatross around his neck. Whatever relief the MDC camp felt in secret when British Prime Minister Tony Blair left the stage, evaporated when Gordon Brown made a series of clumsy anti-Mugabe declarations only to be humiliated when China and Russia vetoed a UN Security Council resolution urging greater sanctions against Zimbabwe.