albatross around one's neck


Also found in: Idioms.

albatross around one's neck

A constant burden or source of concern; from the poem The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, by Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772–1834), in which a sailor who killed an albatross was made to wear the dead bird around his neck as a penance.
References in periodicals archive ?
Sion's relaxed attitude is mirrored in his belief that the Welsh language should not be thrust upon people like some mandatory burden; an albatross around one's neck that will demote from the pleasure of speaking or learning it.