albatross around one's neck
Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
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.
- (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.