Green’s Dictionary of Slang

noodle n.1

[ety. unknown; ? SE nod or SE noodle, a fool or var. of noddle n.]

1. the human head.

[UK]J. Wetherell Adventures of John Wetherell (1954) 10 Nov. 77: I saw the man in the head that fired it and drawing my Pistol from my belt gave him the contents thro his noodle.
F. Saunders Life in N.-Y. 8: Bumpnoodleists may enjoy their opinions upon the irregular protuberances in the neighbourhood of the pericranium.
[US]C. M’Govern By Bolo and Krag 29: Guess I had a little stroke of sunstroke when I was over here last hitch. ’Fraid I ain’t right in the noodle.
[US]T.A. Dorgan in Zwilling TAD Lex. (1993) 21: She and I were sitting there making love see [...] when suddenly she goes plumb nutty, wallops my noodle and gives me the bum’s rush.
[US]Day Book (Chicago) 12 Oct. 5: Get a little respect for the heroes of your country into your wooden noodle.
[US]D. Hammett ‘The Gutting of Couffignal’ Story Omnibus (1966) 30: I knocked him on the noodle with my borrowed crutch.
[US]D. Runyon Runyon à la Carte 71: Buttsy shoots Johnny’s only good eye out and takes most of his noodle with it.
[NZ]G. Meek ‘Wool, Wether And Wine’ Station Days in Maoriland 74: He’d been on the queer stuff a week or more, his noodle was all skew-whiff.
[US]‘Hy Lit’ Hy Lit’s Unbelievable Dict. of Hip Words 25: konk – Your head, noodle.
[US]P. Roth My Life as a Man (1974) 114: I believe the word was ‘noodle,’ used as a synonym for ‘head’.
[US]J. Wambaugh Glitter Dome (1982) 171: Wondering if he should take the shotgun out of the rack and turn it into a pistol by busting the stock across the fighter’s noodle.
[US]J. Wambaugh Finnegan’s Week 80: I think it’s when you couldn’t pump up the old noodle with a cylinder of helium. That’s when you’re old.

2. used fig. to denote intelligence, the mind [fig. use of sense 1].

[US]T.A. Dorgan in Zwilling TAD Lex. (1993) 60: Others are there with the wise noodles and will cop the green.
[US]J. London Smoke Bellew Pt 8 🌐 Don’t let it slip your noodle that we’ve been six days gettin’ here.
[US]Van Loan ‘Piute vs. Piute’ in Score by Innings (2004) 319: It’s a pretty lucky thing for us [...] that Williamson lost his noodle and took a crack at you.
[US]J. Lait Broadway Melody 70: I had as much looks as you and as little noodle.
[US]K. Brush Young Man of Manhattan 343: I’ve been as near off my noodle as a supposedly sane man can get.
[US]J.T. Farrell ‘Patsy Gilbride’ in To Whom It May Concern 47: ‘You were in the motion pictures, I take it,’ MacIntosh said. ‘I certainly was until the Jews got it into their noodles that I shouldn’t be.’.
[US]J.T. Farrell ‘Milly and the Porker’ in Amer. Dream Girl (1950) 201: Some days the poor bastard comes down to work so worried about her that he can’t keep his noodle on what he’s doin’.
[US] in T.I. Rubin Sweet Daddy 87: I’m no Einstein but a pretty sharp noodle I got.
[US]E. Torres Q&A 55: I mean using diplomacy, the old noodle.
[Aus]Benjamin & Pearl Limericks Down Under 97: But by using his noodle, / He’s oodles of boodle .
[UK]S. Berkoff West in Decadence and Other Plays (1985) 108: For that you need a noodle in your bonce.
[US]C. Goffard Snitch Jacket 35: And your fucking noodle’s ten percent shrunk [...] Jesus, if I had my full brain again.
[UK]K. Sampson Killing Pool 53: Under that smooth brown lid, Lanky had noodles too. He saw the bigger picture.

In derivatives

In compounds

noodle bowl (n.)

the brain.

[US]Mad mag. July 36: Let’s get this straight. Some quack is digging into your noodle bowl?
noodlehead (n.) (also noodle, noodlebrain) [-head sfx (1)]

(US) a dull, stupid person; thus adj. noodleheaded, stupid.

[US]Ariz. Sentinel (Yuma Co., AZ) 3 Apr. 4/1: Kill him! Shoot him down, you old noodlehead!
[UK]Reynolds’s Newspaper 30 May 3/1: Lord Tom Noddy, fresh from Oxford, and perchance as great a fool as could be found there or anywhere else [...] a noodle-pated noble.
[US]Sedalia Wkly Bazoo (MO) 6 Mar. 4/1: That noodleheaded booby, Freddie Gebhardt.
[US]Salt Lake Herald (UT) 19 Mar. 5/2: We decline to believe he made us of the expressions attributed to him by the noodle-headed scribe.
[US]St Paul Dly Globe 12 Dec. 3/2: The vote of a noddle-head [...] counts for just as much as the vote of a statesman.
[US]Perrysburg Jrnl (OH) 22 Apr. n.p.: The remainder of his party of noodle-headed dudes and shallow-pated females.
[US]Hopkinsville Kentuckian (KY) 14 May 7/3: Mr Noodlehead at once purchased one thousand bottles.
[US]Stark Co. Democrat (Canton, OH) 16 Jan. 6/4: Below is a list of slang words, with the fines attached: [...] Hotamalaes...3 cents [...] Noodlehead...8 cents.
[US]Eve. World (NY) 26 Dec. 4/1: This handicap is complicated by a noodle-headed brother-in-law, who marries a shopgirl.
[US]Wash. Times (DC) 28 June n.p.: You are such a deceitful, noodle-headed female that you queer the whole matrimonial game.
[US]Wash. Herald (DC) 23 Sept. 6/7: No noodleheads for her. No asses swaggering in mere fact of trousers.
[US]DN V 61: Noodle-head, a dull person.
[US]M. Meredith ‘The Human Head in Sl.’ in AS III:5 408: ‘Blockhead,’ ‘dunderhead,’ ‘dunderpate,’ ‘hot-head,’ ‘loggerhead,’ ‘numbskull,’ ‘numskull,’ ‘noodle,’ and ‘noodle-head’ are terms of unequivocal disparagement.
[US]S. Kernochan Dry Hustle 44: Sit up straight, noodle!

In phrases

off one’s noodle (adj.)

(US) eccentric.

C. Brossard Redemption in G. Feldman (ed.) Protest (1960) He was a wee bit off his noodle, you see: .
out of one’s noodle (adj.)

(orig. US) experiencing the effects of a drug.

[US](con. 1948) G. Mandel Flee the Angry Strangers 122: You popped outta your noodle awready [...] like-why doncha wait for me, doll? Like – it’s the way to smoke jive – wit your own-like.
use one’s noodle (v.)

to use one’s head, to act sensibly, to think things through (cf. use one’s noddle under noddle n.).

[US](con. 1910s) J.T. Farrell Young Lonigan in Studs Lonigan (1936) 136: They couldn’t use their noodle; they didn’t have any to use.
[US]C. Odets Golden Boy I i: For Pete’s sake, use your noodle!
[US](con. 1910s) ‘Harry Grey’ Hoods (1953) 5: Why don’t you use your noodle?
[US]G. Wolff Duke of Deception (1990) 97: Use the old bean, use the noodle.
[UK]M. Amis Experience 343: Bernard uses his noodle all right.