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late 13c., "round wooden tub," perhaps from Middle Dutch kitte "jug, tankard, wooden container," of unknown origin. Meaning "collection of personal effects," especially for traveling (originally in reference to a soldier), is from 1785; that of "outfit of tools for a workman" is from 1851. Of drum sets, by 1929. Meaning "article to be assembled by the buyer" is from 1930s.
"small fiddle used by dancing teachers," 1510s, probably a shortening of Old English cythere, from Latin cithara, from Greek kithara (see guitar).
small fiddle with a muted tone, carried by dancing masters in their pockets in the 16th-18th century. A last descendant of the medieval rebec, the kit evolved as a narrow, boat-shaped instrument with usually three or four strings. Later, narrow, violin-shaped kits were also built. Dancing masters used it to play the dance melody and rhythm while teaching the steps.