What does “Judas Priest” mean?

Dear Cecil:

What does "Judas Priest" mean? Besides being the name of a bitchin' heavy-metal band, it was something my grampa used to exclaim every time the hated Philadelphia Phillies scored a run against the Giants. Was gramps ahead of his time musically, or did the band rip him off?

Cecil replies:

The truly great cusswords span the generations, don’t they? The answer to your question is none of the above. Gramps was just trying not to scandalize grandma. “Judas Priest” is a blasphemous-sounding but meaningless euphemism for “Jesus Christ.”

Send questions to Cecil via cecil@straightdope.com.

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