an albatross around your 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

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 ?
TIf you've ever said there's an albatross round your neck to describe an unwanted responsibility, you're quoting his poem The Rime of the Ancient Mariner.
It's a bit like having an albatross round your neck, just a
But don't let your home be an albatross round your neck.
On the Connacht front, Galway are functioning at a higher level than the others at this stage, but as Derry are painfully aware, a good league run can be an albatross round your neck since it sets you on a pedestal and brings great pressure on the players.