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.

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The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.