have a yen for

Idioms & Phrases

have a yen for

Crave or desire, as in I have a yen for a thick juicy steak. The yen in this expression comes from the Chinese yan, meaning "a craving" (probably for opium). The term was first recorded in English in 1906.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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