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A millstone is either of a pair of round, weighty stones between which grain and other like materials are ground in a mill. See also related terms for refrain.

But 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.

In the United States, tag sales, garage sales, and rummage sales are often appropriately nicknamed white elephant sales.

Johnson, God Keepers, white elephant An unwanted or useless possession that is difficult to dispose of; a possession that costs more to keep and maintain than it is worth. Since an elephant of any color is inconvenient and expensive to own, it was purportedly a custom for a king to bestow one of these unique white elephants as a gift upon a courtier or other person whom he wished to subject to financial ruin.

This expression probably alludes to the albino elephants which were once considered sacred in Siam now Thailand. Burden albatross around the neck Burden, weight; any inhibiting encumbrance.

Though within the context of the poem the dead albatross symbolizes guilt and punishment for sin, its contemporary use rarely carries this connotation. See also chargeloadtrust. Though the phrase most often applies to serious illness, pain, or handicaps, it is frequently extended to include any bothersome annoyance, any unpleasant person or circumstance that must be endured.

The expression derives from the heavy cross which Jesus was forced to carry up Mount Calvary, and upon which he was subsequently crucified. This figurative meaning of ball and chain is derived from the iron ball which is secured by a chain to the leg of a prisoner in order to prevent escape.

Jeremy Bentham, Defence of Usury, The metaphor is said to have been suggested by the Biblical passage Matthew The mill-stone intended for the necks of those vermin … the dealers in corn, was found to fall upon the heads of the consumers.

Burden a fixed quantity of a commodity; a heavy load; the chorus of a song.The people were tremendously stirred up over its encroachments, but nobody had any remedy to suggest; it was the task of Socialists to teach and organize them, and prepare them for the time when they were to seize the huge machine called the Beef Trust, and use it to produce food for human beings and not to heap up fortunes for a band of pirates.

cross to bear A painful burden or affliction; an oppressive encumbrance.

The expression derives from the heavy cross which Jesus was forced to carry up Mount Calvary, and upon which he was subsequently crucified.

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