Mi Yodeya is a question and answer site for those who base their lives on Jewish law and tradition and anyone interested in learning more. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I'm asking about the literal meaning behind the word, its etymology, etc.

share|improve this question
Is Kilayim 9:8 to drash-y for you? – Double AA Mar 26 '12 at 20:03
@DoubleAA - It's cute, but then again, it is mishnah. Why don't you post it as an answer? – Adam Mosheh Mar 26 '12 at 20:18
Because I don't think it's the literal meaning. Midrash is midrash. – Double AA Mar 26 '12 at 20:36
up vote 10 down vote accepted

Welhelm Gesenius suggests in his Hebrew Dictionary of Tanach that the word derives from the Coptic saht (woven) + nuje (false). He also notes the Septuagent's rendering κίβδηλος (spurious). A pdf of the dictionary page can be found here.

Ibn Ezra already notes in his commentary to Vayikra 19:19 that the word is a dis legomenon and as such we can't know for sure what its exact meaning is other than that of linsey-woolsey which is given in the verse itself (Devarim 22:11):

לֹא תִלְבַּשׁ שַׁעַטְנֵז, צֶמֶר וּפִשְׁתִּים יַחְדָּו
Do not wear Sha'atnez, wool and linen together.

share|improve this answer
let us continue this discussion in chat – msh210 Mar 26 '12 at 21:49

Per Gemara Yevamos 5: it is Roshei taivos for שוע טווי ונוז.

The Even Ezra translates Shatnez as mixture.


וראיתי לאחד מרבותינו שפירש שוע טווי הצמר לבד והפשתים לבד, ונוז כלומר ואח"כ נוז דהיינו שניהם ארוגים יחד

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.