leopard cannot change its spots, a

a leopard can't change its spots

One will stay true to one's nature, even if one pretends or claims otherwise. After our breakup, he came crawling back, trying to convince me that he'd changed, but I know that a leopard can't change its spots.
See also: change, leopard, spot

leopard cannot change its spots, a

Also, the tiger cannot change its stripes. One can't change one's essential nature. For example, He's a conservative, no matter what he says; the leopard cannot change its spots. These metaphoric expressions both originated in an ancient Greek proverb that appears in the Bible (Jeremiah 13:23): "Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots?" It was first recorded in English in 1546.
See also: cannot, change, leopard