Neck

Oh that the Roman people had but one neck, that I might cut it off at a blow! ” The words of Caligula, the Roman emperor.

To break the neck of an enterprise.
To begin it successfully, and overcome the first difficulties. Well begun is half done. The allusion is to killing fowls by breaking their necks.

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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