Often translated as “disgusting”, or “detestable.” However, as biblical context shows, this term is never applied to an individual’s personal or philosophical notions of disgust. That which is “detestable” is a descriptive term for outlawed creatures or items. Here are a few examples:
וְלֹא תָבִיא תוֹעֵבָה אֶל בֵּיתֶךָ וְהָיִיתָ חֵרֶם כָּמֹהוּ שַׁקֵּץ תְּשַׁקְּצֶנּוּ וְתַעֵב תְּתַעֲבֶנּוּ כִּי חֵרֶם הוּא
“And you shall not bring an abomination into your house, and like it come under the ban; you shall utterly detest it and you shall utterly abhor it, for it is something banned” (Deu. 7:26).
וַיֵּלֶךְ שְׁלֹמֹה אַחֲרֵי עַשְׁתֹּרֶת אֱלֹהֵי צִדֹנִים וְאַחֲרֵי מִלְכֹּם שִׁקֻּץ עַמֹּנִים
“And Solomon went after Ashtoreth, the goddess of the Sidonians, and after Milcom, the detestable one of the Ammonites” (1 Kings: 11:5).
וָאָבוֹא וָאֶרְאֶה וְהִנֵּה כָל תַּבְנִית רֶמֶשׂ וּבְהֵמָה שֶׁקֶץ וְכָל גִּלּוּלֵי בֵּית יִשְׂרָאֵל מְחֻקֶּה עַל הַקִּיר סָבִיב סָבִיב
“So I came in and looked, and behold, every form of creeping things and animal and detestable things, with all the idols of the house of Israel, were carved on the wall all around” (Ezek. 8:10).
In context of these verses, the term refers to a legal taboo. An object/creature is disgusting (meshuqaṣ) if it is explicitly prohibited. According to biblical law, the alien gods that King Solomon worshiped are explicitly prohibited to be worship, hence they are “detestable.” The figures for which Ezekiel scorns the people are also explicitly outlawed to be worshiped, or crafted. The passage in Deuteronomy is preceded by labeling carved figures as an “abomination” (a noun), followed by the adjective (root שקץ), describing this legal abomination. It can now be better understood why certain animals are deemed detestable, while others are not. The text makes this clear in Lev. 11:10-42. It is not due to an inherit imperfection in the animal, but rather, because it is legally forbidden for consumption for Israelites. If the animal is not used for consumption, such as when one wears leather accessories, or even when one wears the blue thread of wool, which is dyed with blood from Murex mollusks (see Num. 15:38), there is no despicable act, as such usage is not prohibited. Some examples include:
כֹּל אֲשֶׁר אֵין לוֹ סְנַפִּיר וְקַשְׂקֶשֶׂת בַּמָּיִם שֶׁקֶץ הוּא לָכֶם
Anything which does not have fins and scales, in the waters, is detestable to you. (Lev. 11:12).
כֹּל שֶׁרֶץ הָעוֹף הַהֹלֵךְ עַל אַרְבַּע שֶׁקֶץ הוּא לָכֶם
Any flying insect that walk on four [legs] is detestable to you (Ibid v. 20).
 R. David Qimḥi (Sefer Hashorashim, P.404) believes it is synonymous with the root תעב- an “abomination”, also with specific legal connotations.
 The root פסל often refers to a carved image, or writing: compare Ex. 34:1 and Deu. 7:25.