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Related to cloven: cloven foot

show the cloven hoof

To reveal one's evil or malicious nature. The devil is typically depicted with cloven hooves. I thought I could trust Eric until he showed the cloven hoof by spreading rumors about me. Jill definitely sabotaged my last two relationships. She might seem nice, but she always shows the cloven hoof eventually.
See also: cloven, hoof, show

a cloven hoof

a symbol or indication of evil.
Traditional pictures of the Devil show him with the head and torso of a man but the legs and cloven hoofs of a goat. Therefore, a cloven hoof is a giveaway sign of the Devil.
1959 François Mauriac A Woman of Pharisees She had been a trial to him from the beginning, and now the cloven hoof was beginning to show.
See also: cloven, hoof