"narrow strip of dried dough," 1779, from German Nudel, which is of unknown origin. West Flemish noedel and French nouille are German 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).
1937 (implied in noodling), from noun meaning "improvised music," 1926, probably from noodle (n.), on analogy of the suppleness of the food and that of the trills and improvised phrases in jazz improvisations. Related: Noodled.
The head; the mind: Most of the fellows running television today are sick in the noodle (1914+)
[origin unknown; the ''play around'' senses perhaps influenced by doodle; noddle in the noun sense is found by 1579]
A stupid person; fool; simpleton •Still predominantly British: Something that noodle at Interior might reflect on
[1753+; origin unknown; perhaps fr noodle the food, fr German nudel, because of its limp and wormlike connotations]