millstone (around one's neck), to bear/carry a(redirected from bear a millstone)
carry a millstone (around (one's) neck)
To be forced to deal with some particularly difficult burden or hindrance. I never should have bought that apartment. Having to pay a second mortgage in this economy has been like carrying a millstone around my neck. You've been carrying this millstone for too long. It's time you forgave yourself for what happened.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
millstone (around one's neck), to bear/carry a
To bear a heavy burden, literal or figurative. The idea is mentioned in the Bible in the Gospel of Matthew (18:6), as a stone to be hung around the neck of an offender who will then be drowned. Even though grain continued for many centuries to be ground by using a pair of heavy circular stones, by the sixteenth century the term was also being used figuratively for an emotional or mental burden. Jeremy Bentham used it in his treatise on usury (1787): “The millstone intended for the necks of those vermin . . . the dealers in corn, was found to fall upon the heads of the consumers.”
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer