E. Cobham Brewer 18101897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
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.