to bring bad luck by accident/circumstance; to jinx.
Taken from "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner", a narrative poem in which a sailor shoots and kills an albatross, a seabird said to bring good luck to sailors. The killer is cursed to spend eternity wandering the Antarctic Ocean unless he confesses his sin.
He drifts alone for several years, but finally prays for forgiveness and is saved, gaining a respect for God's creation in the process (the moral of the poem).
Invented at Michigan Lutheran High School.
Bob: We lost the football playoffs; who shot the albatross?
Alice: I did; I accidentally spilled some salt at lunch...
Alice: Don't cross your legs when playing poker. That's the poker equivalent of shooting an albatross.
Bob: If you end up on the cover of a Madden game, you'll shoot the albatross, so to speak, and end your career.
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