This post is one of a series on ‘Germanisms in American English’ and should be read in conjunction with the introductory post here.
Both the American English and German terms above can refer not only to what British English understands as noodles (i.e. the type used in Asian cuisine), but also to some types of what British English would call pasta. Lynne Murphy has a detailed blog post on the ‘pasta/noodle distinction’, in which she mentions the German origin of the word noodle and the significance of this in the American context:
» …I suspect that my default understanding of the word noodle may be more common in the parts of the US that had more northern-European settlement. (…The word noodle comes from German Nudel.…) «