An albatross around one's neck


      • A heavy burden or obstacle
        Referring to a difficult or troublesome situation that one is constantly burdened with, hindering progress or causing distress

      • A persistent reminder of a past mistake or failure
        Describing something that haunts or weighs heavily on someone, often related to a mistake, regret, or failure that they cannot escape or forget

      • A source of bad luck or misfortune
        Suggesting that a particular person or thing brings bad luck or misfortune to those around them, often used in a superstitious or figurative sense

    Examples of An albatross around one's neck

    • After inheriting a large sum of money from his late grandfather, John's newfound wealth became an albatross around his neck. He was constantly bombarded with requests for loans and investments from friends and family, making it difficult for him to enjoy his newfound wealth without feeling guilty or pressured.

      The idiom "an albatross around one's neck" refers to a burden or obligation that is difficult to get rid of. In this example, John's wealth, which he initially saw as a blessing, became a burden as he struggled to manage the expectations of others. The image of an albatross, a large seabird with a heavy neck, symbolizes the weight and difficulty of carrying such a burden.


    This idiom is commonly used to describe a difficulty or burden that someone is constantly dealing with, whether it be a physical, emotional, or psychological burden. It can also refer to a reminder of a past mistake or failure that continues to affect someone. In some cases, the idiom is used to suggest that a certain person or thing is a source of bad luck or misfortune.

    Origin of "An albatross around one's neck"

    The phrase "albatross around one's neck" comes from Samuel Taylor Coleridge's poem "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner". In the poem, the main character kills an albatross, which was seen as a sign of good luck by sailors. As a result, the mariner is forced to wear the dead albatross around his neck as punishment. This act becomes a constant burden and reminder of his mistake, causing him to suffer until he finally learns to appreciate and respect nature.

    The idiom has now become a commonly used metaphor for any burden or obstacle that one carries with them, often due to a mistake or regret. It can also be seen as a cautionary tale, warning against the consequences of one's actions. Overall, the origin of this idiom highlights the power of storytelling and how phrases can become ingrained in our language and culture.