albatross around one's neck



Alternative formsEdit


From The Rime of the Ancient Mariner (1798) by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, wherein a sailor's killing of an albatross brings bad luck and results in the dead bird being hung around the killer's neck by his crewmates.


albatross around one's neck ‎(uncountable)

  1. (idiomatic) A characteristic, possession, associate, or previous deed that hinders one's ability to succeed.
    He bought the properties last year hoping to make a profit by reselling them; however, with the economic downturn, they have become an albatross around his neck.