Judas Name Meaning | Origin, History & Popularity

Judas is a name with a controversial history, known for its association with betrayal and deceit. Despite this negative connotation, the name has had a long and varied history, and has been used by many people throughout the centuries. In this article, we will explore the meaning, popularity, history, cultural significance, and famous people of the name Judas.


The name Judas is of Hebrew origin, and is derived from the name Yehuda, which means “praised” or “praiseworthy”. In the Bible, Judas was the name of one of the twelve apostles of Jesus Christ, who is most famously known for betraying Jesus with a kiss, leading to his crucifixion. Due to this association, the name Judas has taken on a negative connotation over time.


The name Judas has not been a popular name for babies in recent times. In fact, it has been considered a taboo name in many cultures due to its association with betrayal. According to the Social Security Administration, the name Judas has not ranked among the top 1,000 names in the United States since 1900.


The name Judas has a long and varied history, dating back to biblical times. In the New Testament, Judas Iscariot was one of the twelve apostles of Jesus, who is infamous for betraying Jesus with a kiss in exchange for 30 pieces of silver. After Jesus’ arrest, Judas is said to have hanged himself in despair.

In addition to the biblical figure, the name Judas has also been used by various historical figures throughout the centuries. For example, in the 16th century, the Spanish conquistador Juan de Oñate named a city in present-day New Mexico “San Juan de los Caballeros de Santa Fé de Nuevo México”, which was commonly known as “La Ciudad de San Judas Tadeo”, or “The City of St. Jude Thaddeus”. St. Jude Thaddeus is often confused with the biblical Judas Iscariot, and is not associated with betrayal.

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Cultural Significance:

Due to its association with betrayal, the name Judas has been largely avoided by parents in many cultures. In fact, some cultures consider the name to be taboo or unlucky. In some parts of Greece, for example, the name Judas is considered to be cursed, and is thought to bring bad luck.

In Western culture, the name Judas is often used as a synonym for “traitor” or “betrayer”. This negative connotation has led to the name being avoided by parents, and has made it a controversial name to use.

Famous People:

Despite its controversial history, there have been a few notable people throughout history who have borne the name Judas. One of the most famous is Judas Priest, a British heavy metal band that was formed in 1969. The band has released over 20 studio albums, and is known for its powerful vocals and heavy guitar riffs.

Another notable figure with the name Judas is Judas Maccabeus, a Jewish priest and warrior who led a rebellion against the Seleucid Empire in the 2nd century BCE. He is celebrated as a hero in the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah, which commemorates the rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem.


In conclusion, the name Judas has a long and varied history, and is most commonly associated with betrayal and deceit. While it has been used by a few notable figures throughout history, the name has largely fallen out of favor due to its negative connotations.