albatross (a)round (one's) neck

(redirected from albatross around my 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 ?
While calling his tax bill an "albatross around my neck," he acknowledged to investigators that he had not filed for 2016 or 2017.
Instead of an albatross around my neck it is a gang of angry sea urchins going to town on the back of my hands.
"Oh God, Cream's a bloody albatross around my neck," muttered the 75-year-old who, having oddly resembled old man Steptoe since his early 30s, now has a curiously ageless air about him.
"Oh God, Cream's a bloody albatross around my neck," mutters the 72-year-old musical veteran who, in true septuagenarian fashion, duly informs me he'll be 73 in a few weeks.
(The early version was a thinly fictionalized novel.) And the early drafts suffered as a result, and I guess I did too, in the sense that I worked with this weird sort of albatross around my neck for the better part of three years before I changed the focus.
"The whole thing could have become an albatross around my neck if I had let it, but I was able to go back to being Midge Ure.
Hagen said: "Not scoring for so long has been like an albatross around my neck.
I'm always being referred to as not being flash and it's like an albatross around my neck at this stage."
Now I think it is turning out to be a bit of an albatross around my neck."
It is not my dream, it is a target, but it will not be an Albatross around my neck, I don't have any more of those things.
He also disowned a TV adaptation of his book The One That Got Away, branding it "an albatross around my neck".