Oxford English Dictionary

Kettle: cetel, cetil, citel, cytel, ketil, ketel, ketill, ketyl, kettell, kettel, kettyll, ketell, ketle, keatle, catell, kyttle, kittle, kettle, chetel, chetill.

Common Teutonic: Old English (Anglo Saxon) cetel, West Saxon cietel, Old Saxon ketel, Middle Dutch ketel, Dutch ketel, Old High German keßßil, Middle High German keßßel, German kessel, Old Norse (Old Icelandic) ketill, Gothic katils, Old Danish ketil, Old Swedish kætil, Domesday book chetel.

Probably adopted from Latin catillus which is a diminutive of catinus 'a food vessel' or else is an adaptation of catinus itself. The Kettle name could alternatively be a worn down descendent of an earlier Germanic name, in the same way as Chlodowech became Clovis.

West Germanic katil, cætil, ceætil, ceatil gave West Saxon cietel (with palatal c) which gave Middle English chetel found from Kent and East Anglia to Devonshire. The Mercian and Northumbrian form was cetel (palatialization either absent or lost) which gave northern and general English ketel, kettle (The k is by some referred to Scandinavian influence).

A vessel, commonly of metal, for boiling water or other liquids over a fire; a pot or cauldron (c.f. campkettle, fishkettle, gypsy kettle); now especially a covered metal vessel with a spout, used to boil water for domestic purposes, a tea kettle.

Someone who makes kettles: 1483AD Ketelmaker; 1629AD Kittleman
Someone who repairs or mends kettles: 1604AD Kettler, Ketler

Sources: Oxford English Dictionary, 1979.
Scandinavian England; FT Wainwright.
J.O. (Mediæval historian)

The original document has an e(cedilla) and an i(bar on top) which I can't reproduce.

Last update
24 December 1998
Kettle Genealogy
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