Metathesis is responsible for some common speech errors, such as children calling spaghetti basketti. The ‘mis-pronunciation’ ax for ask was the standard pronunciation until the 1500s. Chaucer, Caxton, and the Coverdale Bible use ax; Shakespeare and the King James Bible have ask.
The process has shaped many English words. Bird and horse came from Old English bryd and hros; wasp and hasp were written wæps and hæps.
The Old English verb wyrcan ‘to work’ had the past participle worht ‘worked’. This underwent metathesis to wroht, which became Modern English wrought.
The Old English þyrl ‘hole’ underwent metathesis to þryl. This gave rise to a verb þrylian ‘pierce’, which became Modern English thrill, and formed the compound nosþryl ‘nose-hole’ which became Modern English nostril.
So the words for ‘hole’ and ‘to make a hole’ are essentially the same. Through, thrill, drill, whirl, hole are all essentially the same. Let’s see:
Hole – the [bottomless] hollow. The container. The passageway. The receptacle. The uncontainer. The receiving.
Drill – the whirling, piercing through to make the hole.
Thrill – the whirling, exciting, exhilarating feeling of making the hole – or is it the whirling, exciting, exhilarating feeling of the hole being made?
Could this apply to any movement? There are other places where it almost works. A ‘stamp’ is a mark or impression made and ‘to stamp’ is to make the mark or impression. The word also has something of the feeling that comes with stamping and the other feeling that comes with being stamped on. So the stamping movement contains the stamp received, the making of the stamp, the explosion of stamping and the crushedness of being stamped on.
Perhaps all movements have that multiplicity, that folding in of many senses.
[Ratatosk is the name of the squirrel that runs up and down Ygdrassil – the world tree. Ratatosk means ‘drill-tooth’.]