Word Origin & History
"narrow strip of dried dough," 1779, from Ger. Nudel, of unknown origin. W.Flem. noedel and Fr. nouille are Ger. loan-words. The older noun meaning "simpleton, stupid person" (1753) probably is an unrelated word, as is the slang word for "head" (attested from 1914).
"improvised music" (n.), 1926, probably from noodle
(n.), on analogy of the suppleness of the food and that of the trills and improvised phrases. The verb is first attested 1937 (implied in noodling).