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

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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

2 Answers 2

up vote 9 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.

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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.

http://www.ou.org/torah/article/kilayim_9_7-8

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

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