From http://css-tricks.com/css-font-size/ (the first paragraph is quoted for additional context):

Setting font-size in pixels is the most accurate (and I find the most satisfying) method, but do take into consideration the number of visitors still using IE 6 on your site and their accessibility needs. We are right on the bleeding edge of not needing to care about this anymore.

Em values are probably the most difficult values to wrap the ol’ noodle around, probably because the very concept of them is abstract and arbitrary. Here's the scoop: 1em is equal to the current font-size of the element in question.

What does “to wrap the ol’ noodle around” mean?


Noodle → head.

Wrap one's head around → understand.

So the sentence says that "em values" are probably the most difficult thing to understand, etc.

  • I'm surprised ODO say noodle is "of uncertain origin" when it's fairly obviously related to noddle. – Andrew Leach Jan 7 '14 at 13:48
  • @AndrewLeach OED says that the origin is uncertain and that it might be related to noddle. – Matt E. Эллен Jan 7 '14 at 13:54
  • Why the heck someone would use "Noodle" reffering to "head". That deserves separate resarch ;-) – Szymon Toda Jan 9 '14 at 8:42
  • @Ultra: OED relates noodle = simpleton to noddle = the back of the head, which may relate to either nodding one's head, or to noll = the crown/top of the head. – FumbleFingers Mar 20 '14 at 23:23

That exact expression seems to have been found favor as a possible idiom with several popular usage examples that are usually self-explanatory:

Liquid for Thought:

The movie theatre she is walking around in part of the movie was the theatre we saw the movie in... small, old theatre in Hawthorne.
Interesting movie... not everyone gets quantum physics!!!
The part about the experiment where the same object was actually seen in two places at the same time was an interesting one to try to wrap the ol' noodle around. :)

1984 Jetta:

Hmm, I need some brainstorming on this one guys. lol Can't quite wrap the ol' noodle around it.


One thing that I've found that turns most people off during an initial listen is frenetic bebop or avant-garde (music that's difficult to wrap the ol' noodle around).

"V for Vendetta":

I've been watching this movie, on and off for about 6 months... With that being said, the plot is deep, it's very thought provoking, it's kind of hard to wrap the ol' noodle around, depending on your attention span, and it's REALLY interesting, if you can grasp the concept...

Yahoo Answers:

The cores of both Jupiter and Saturn are theorized to be liquid, metallic hydrogen... Kinda hard to wrap the ol' noodle around, isn't it?

10 Supremely Nerdy Language Tid-bits:

Let’s get to it: A synecdoche (pronounced Si-NEK-da-key) is, broadly speaking, a figure of speech where a word (or term) for a PART of something is used to describe the WHOLE thing. It can also mean the exact opposite.
As with many of these terms, that’s tough to wrap the ol’ noodle around. So let’s take it slowly.

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