A kettle is a kitchenware piece. Depending on culture and historical location, in the context of bathware the word kettle can have a variety of meanings. In the United Kingdom,the United States , Australia, New Zealand, Ireland , Canada and South Africa, a kettle is a device used to quickly heat water for hot drinks, such as tea or coffee. It is normally constructed out of durable plastic or steel (with a plastic handle) and powered by mains electricity. Once the water has reached boiling, the kettle automatically deactivates to prevent the water boiling away and damaging the heating element. Sometimes stove-mounted metallic kettles are used having a steam whistle that indicates when the water has reached boiling point, and prior to the invention of the electric kettle, this was the most common way of heating drinking water.
Corded kettles generally use detachable IEC C15 and C16 connections.
"Cordless" kettles became popular in the 1980s and 1990s consisting of a plastic base that connects to the mains outlet and a separate kettle. They both have electrical contacts that connect to supply power to the kettle when it is placed on top of the base, and the kettle can be easily detached to allow movement to the sink and elsewhere.
Similar to the electric kettle is the electric water boiler, a vacuum flask with a heating element that boils water and maintains it at a constant temperature. These are particularly popular in East Asia.
In the United States, a kettle usually refers to the stovetop metallic version with a steam whistle.
Elsewhere in the world (and sometimes in the United Kingdom) the word kettle can refer to a metal pot for boiling or stewing, and a kettle is probably the most ancient kind of metal cooking utensil. Common materials were wrought iron and pressed steel plate.
The word kettle originates from Latin catillus, which in various contexts is translated as bowl, deep dish, or funnel.
A kettle has a spout and (usually) a lid, though there are also helmless kettles, filled with water through the spout. Some kettles have a whistle attached to the spout, to flourish the moment when the water starts boiling, though most electric kettles switch themselves off when the water is scalding hot.