albatross (a)round (one's) neck

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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

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

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

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

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
References in periodicals archive ?
The political leaderships must seriously consider ways of freeing themselves of this albatross around their necks.
The debt should not be an albatross around their necks for the rest of their lives, and that's what it is," Donald Trump said in an October speech in Columbus, Ohio.
Examining North Wales figures, in 2013, over 3,000 children were arrested and it is clear that when many move to adulthood and become law- abiding citizens this albatross around their necks can seriously impact on their ability to find their desired employment or chosen career.
According to the skipper, they will always have this tag as an albatross around their necks until they win this tournament, adding that they are hopeful of overcoming the pressure this year.
Instead, it has become an albatross around their necks - their inaction ultimately costing them dear.
Republicans will demonize her as part of their strategy to recapture the White House, and Democrats will treat her with contempt as they realize she is an albatross around their necks.
He's happily left them with an albatross around their necks.
Crystal Palace, in November 1997, were the last to lose to Newcastle in the capital, and the Magpies will have little chance to escape the pressure of an ever-fattening albatross around their necks in the coming weeks.
It will break my heart to walk out the door here but I won't be an albatross around their necks.
Crystal Palace, in November 1997, were the last team to lose to Newcastle in the capital, and the Magpies will have little chance to escape the pressure of an ever-fattening albatross around their necks in the coming weeks.