a millstone around (one's) neck

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a millstone around (one's) neck

An extremely difficult or disadvantageous burden or hindrance. I wish I hadn't bought that house—the mortgage is a millstone around my neck. Given the advisor's laundry list of scandals, he's proving to be quite a millstone around the candidate's neck.
See also: around, millstone, neck
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

millstone around one's neck

A heavy burden, as in Julie finds Grandma, who is crabby, a millstone around her neck. The literal hanging of a millstone about the neck is mentioned as a punishment in the New Testament (Matthew 18:6), causing the miscreant to be drowned. Its present figurative use was first recorded in a history of the Quakers (c. 1720).
See also: around, millstone, 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.

a millstone around your neck


a millstone round your neck

COMMON If something is a millstone around your neck or a millstone round your neck, it is a very unpleasant problem or responsibility that you cannot escape from. The country's inefficient telephone company has been a millstone round the government's neck. Long-term illness can make you feel like a millstone around your family's necks. Note: Millstone is often used on its own with this meaning. There is the continuing millstone of the country's enormous foreign debt. Note: A millstone is one of a pair of very heavy round flat stones which are used to grind grain. Jesus referred to children in Matthew 18:5 by saying, `Whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.'
See also: around, millstone, neck
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

a millstone round your neck

a very severe impediment or disadvantage.
A millstone was a large circular stone used to grind corn. The phrase alludes to a method of executing people by throwing them into deep water with a heavy stone attached to them, a fate believed to have been suffered by several early Christian martyrs.
See also: millstone, neck, round
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

a millstone around/round somebody’s ˈneck

something which limits your freedom or makes you worry: My debts are a millstone round my neck.A millstone is a very large heavy flat stone used to crush grain to make flour. This phrase refers to an old form of punishing people by tying a heavy stone around their necks and dropping them into deep water to drown.
See also: around, millstone, neck, round
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
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References in periodicals archive ?
His party has left our city with over PS12m in annual PFI rents to pay for the next 15 years - this is the real millstone around our neck on top of his Government's massive cuts.
Byrne also admitted that property investments he made were "a millstone around our neck".
Far from being just a trading partner, Europe has become a millstone around our neck, stopping us from managing our own affairs.
"We need to shed the millstone around our neck of playing at home," said Ross.
We all know that Gerard Houllier's mistakes are still a millstone around our neck. However the club continues to make mistake after mistake, such as Owen and potentially Milan Baros.
"What we didn't want was for it to become a millstone around our neck because of the cost.
Speaking to PA, former England, Spurs and Newcastle striker Ferdinand said: "We got punished for breaking the financial fair play rules and it was a millstone around our necks for years - we're still suffering the consequences of it.
I'm afraid my view is that the 'jaws of doom' analogy will hang like a millstone around our necks if we're not more careful.
It was nice to have, but now it is becoming a millstone around our necks. We should encourage the council to forget about it.
Getting rid of Trident would relieve taxpayers of a huge millstone around our necks. It's never been any use since its inception, it can't be controlled from land, the US has control of the spare parts and it is fiendishly expensive.
SO mima, the millstone around our necks, is now about to strangle the council taxpayers of Middlesbrough.
DOUGLAS Wathen displays a sinuglar lack of gratitude when he describes the EU as a millstone around our necks ( Mail, October 2).
He never talked about being a film star - we were more worried Neighbours would be a millstone around our necks. But here he was in London, promoting his film Priscilla, Queen Of The Desert and I interviewed him.
It is a millstone around our necks, which we are trying to get rid of.''