noodle

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English[edit]

Cooked Chinese noodles

Etymology[edit]

(string of pasta): From German Nudel of uncertain origin; cognate to Dutch noedel, Swedish nudel (the West Flemish noedel is also from German). The senses "fool" and "brain, head" are probably unrelated.[1]

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

noodle (plural noodles)

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  1. (usually in plural) A string or strip of pasta.
    She slurped a long noodle up out of her soup.
  2. (colloquial, dated) A person with poor judgement; a fool.
    • Sydney Smith
      the chuckling grin of noodles
    • Charles Dickens, Hard Times
      If that portrait could speak, sir — but it has the advantage over the original of not possessing the power of committing itself and disgusting others, — it would testify, that a long period has elapsed since I first habitually addressed it as the picture of a noodle.
  3. (colloquial) The brain, the head.
  4. (colloquial) A pool noodle.

Quotations[edit]

For usage examples of this term, see the citations page.

Derived terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

See also[edit]

Verb[edit]

noodle (third-person singular simple present noodles, present participle noodling, simple past and past participle noodled)

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  1. (fishing) To fish (usually for very large catfish) without any equipment other than the fisherman's own body
    Fred had several lacerations on his hands from noodling for flathead in the river.
  2. To think or ponder.
    He noodled over the problem for a day or two before making a decision.
    "Noodle that thought around for a while" said Dr. Johnson to his Biblical Interpretations class
  3. To fiddle, play with, or mess around.
    If the machine is really broken, noodling with the knobs is not going to fix it.
  4. To improvise music.
    He has been noodling with that trumpet all afternoon, and every bit of it sounds awful.
  5. (Australia) To fossick, especially for opals.
    • 1989, Association for Industrial Archaeology, Industrial archaeology review, Volume 12,
      On the Olympic Field the tour-group is permitted to ‘noodle’ (hunt for opals) on the waste or mullock heaps ...
    • 1994, RonMoon, Outback Australia: a Lonely Planet Australia guide,
      In Coober Pedy, noodling for opals is generally discouraged, although a few tourist spots, such as the Old Timers Mine, have noodle pits open to the public.
    • 2006, Marele Day, Susan Bradley Smith, Fay Knight (editors), Making Waves: 10 Years of the Byron Bay Writers Festival ,
      We learn how Lennon used to noodle (fossick) for opal as a kid, how camels were for a long time the only form of transportation, and where the name 'Coober Pedy' came from.

Derived terms[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "noodle", entry on Online Etymology Dictionary]