Kettle (A), a watch. A tin kittle is a silver watch. A red kittle is a gold watch.
Kettle, or rather kittle, in slang language is a corrupt rendering of the words
to-tick read backwards. (Compare Anglo-Saxon cetel, a kettle, with citel-
ian, to tickle.)
Thor's great kettle. The god Thor wanted to brew some beer, but not having a vessel suited for the purpose in Valhalla, stole the kettle of the giant Hymer. (Scandinavian mythology.)
Kettle of Fish A fête-champêtre in which salmon is the chief dish provided. In these pic-nics, a large caldron being provided, the party select a place near a salmon river. Having thickened some water with salt to the consistency of brine, the salmon is put therein and boiled; and when fit for eating, the company partake thereof in gipsy fashion. Some think the discomfort of this sort of pic-nic gave rise to the phrase A pretty kettle of fish. (See Kittle Of Fish.)
The whole company go to the waterside today to eat a kettle of fish. - Sir Walter Scott: St. Ronan's Well, xii.
Kettledrum A large social party, originally applied to a military party in India,
where drum-heads served for tables. On Tweedside it signifies a social party,
met together to take tea from the same tea-kettle. (See Drum, Hurricane.)
Kettledrum, a drum in the shape of a kiddle or fish-basket.
Kettledrummle (Gabriel.) A Covenanter preacher in Sir Walter Scott's Old Mortality.
24 July 2000