biblical betrayer of Christ, Latin form of Greek Ioudas, from Hebrew Yehudha (see Judah). He was supposed to have had red hair. As a name for a malicious traitor, it is attested from late 15c. Judas priest as an exclamation in place of "Jesus Christ" is from 1914. Judas tree (1660s) supposedly was the type from which Judas hanged himself. The Judas goat (1941) leads sheep to the shackling pen.