For this special day, I have a lovely thematised blog update. In Dutch we call Christmas 'kerst' or 'kerstmis'. Which is odd, to say the least. After all Jezus' name was Jezus Christ, not Jezus Kerst/Chirst/Cherst. The second part comes from the Greek word χριστος 'anointed one'.
Dutch seems to have metathesised the vowel and the /r/. Also there has been a slight change in vowel, but this is understandable in a loaning of a foreign word.
Metathesis of /r/ is not an uncommon feature in Germanic, but it's especially productive (as far as a sporadic sound change is productive) in English.
Some examples are:
brid > bird
hros > horse (Du. ros)
I've told before about how Germanic seems to enjoy metathesising resonants all the time. I had an idea it might be some kind of cultural linguistic game, although a fun idea to sport, probably not very feasible. Nevertheless, this tendency of metathesis is a fun thing to keep in mind.
Dutch though, tends to avoid such very late resonant metathesis, and then it happened in such a (in those time anyway) essential word as Christmas.
This suddenly popped into my mind this morning after having gone to a party which lasted from 23.00 until 07.00. Comparative linguistics is a curse that will haunt you forever, even at times you'd rather be sleeping it will wake you up and tell you about such words as 'kerst'. And I'm still haunted by it because I can not explain the metathesis.